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We all Scream for Ice Cream

July 30, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJuly is National Ice Cream month and not by chance ice cream consumption is highest in July and August. The north central states have the highest consumption per capita, with Portland, St. Louis and Seattle leading the cities. The average American consumes 23.2 quarts of ice cream, sherbet and other frozen dairy treats per year.

Ice cream is easier to make homemade than ever before, with appliances that do much of the work for you. There is still available hand cranked makers for those who really want to work up an appetite for the ice cream they’re making.

According to the International Ice Cream Association the top 10 flavors of ice cream are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry, Neapolitan, chocolate chip, French vanilla, cookies & cream, vanilla fudge ripple and praline pecan. By flavor vanilla makes up 28% of sales, fruit flavors 15% and nut flavors 13.5%.

Chocolate syrup remains the favorite topping and premium ice cream gathers 41.4% of the dollar of sales. Retail ice cream is big business – $11 billion and the first ice cream parlor in the US was in New York City in 1776.

Today ice cream comes in snack sized cups, bars, even small balls dipped in chocolate as well as cones and the larger containers that have been popular for years.

For many nothing quite compares to homemade so try these recipes:

Homemade butter pecan ice cream

Homemade vanilla ice cream

Honey ice cream

Maple walnut ice cream

The cream is naturally produced in milk. It takes about 25 gallons of milk to make 9 gallons of ice cream (or 25 pounds of cheese or 11 pounds of butter). Cattle with good care can produce 25-50 pounds of milk (8.6 pounds is a gallon) per milking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are six main breeds of dairy cattle, although the most popular for volume is the common black and white Holstein, followed by the Jersey. Other breeds include Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey and Milking Shorthorn, as well as rare breeds such as the milking Devon that are not common in commercial herds. There are about 65,000 dairy farms in the USA, most smaller farms with under 200 cows, that produce the milk which becomes one of several dairy products including ice cream.

Ice cream is an ideal dessert for any time of year, but homemade with a variety of fresh ingredients is ideal on a hot July day. Although most ice cream is purchased on Sunday you can buy it at any time and serve with or without toppings.

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