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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day (January 15)

Check out the weird holiday National Strawberry Ice Cream Day on January 15. Learn the history of the day and get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 15 is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Today’s holiday is specifically about strawberry ice cream. All flavors of ice cream are celebrated on July 1.

While ice cream seems like a relatively new invention, frozen treats have been served for a long time. Some say that the Romans invented the practice of mixing ice with other flavors – the emperor Nero was reported to often send servants up to the mountains to collect ice and snow.

Others say it was the Persians who invented flavored ices, and still more people believe that as long ago as the third century BC, people in China would serve their guests sweetened juices mixed with snow.

More recently, there is a common belief that Alexander the Great enjoyed eating snow and ice treats that were flavored with nectars and honey. Additionally, there is evidence that King Solomon – a historical and biblical character – enjoyed iced drinks, too.

No matter it’s origins, it was only when the endothermic effect was discovered that ice cream was truly able to become more mainstream. Endothermic reactions are a chemical process when reactants absorb heat from the environment. These reactions cause a cooling effect by lowering the temperature of their surroundings. When salt is added to ice cream, it makes it so ice cream can freeze at higher temperatures.

In spite of this discovery, however, ice cream was only reserved for the upper classes until 1851. That year, a Swiss entrepeneur named Carlo Gatti put an ice cream stand in London. He built an ice well where he stored the ice he collect from Regent’s Canal, and he sold that ice in scoops for a penny each. He became so rich and successful that he began importing ice from Norway.

In 1885, Agnes Marshall – who was called “Queen of Ices” – began writing a series of cookbooks featuring ice cream, which popularized the frozen dessert.

Almost forty years later, soft serve ice cream was invented in 1926. Charles Taylor, in Buffalo, New York, invented and patented the first soft-serve ice cream machine.

Now, strawberry ice cream itself as an individual flavor was invented in 1813 by the First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of United States President James Madison. It was served during his second inaugural banquet at the White House.  Historians believe this was accomplished prior to refrigeration by using large blocks of ice that were kept in basement vaults and insulated with bales of hay.

The first time that strawberry ice cream was celebrated on its own was in the United States as early as 1932! Strawberry ice cream is made by blending strawberries (or strawberry flavoring) with eggs, cream, vanilla, and sugar. It gets its pink/light red coloring from additional food coloring as opposed to from the strawberry itself.

Strawberry ice cream is very popular, ranking third place as a favorite flavor after chocolate and vanilla. It is actually often combined with these two flavors to create Neapolitan ice cream, which originated in Naples, Italy during the 19th century.

Strawberries themselves are the only fruit that contain seeds on the outside, with an average of 200 seeds per piece of fruit. Technically, strawberries aren’t even a berry, but are called accessory fruits. They’re actually part of the rose family!

Strawberries were eaten by our ancestors for medicinal reasons. The ancient Romans thought that fruit could cure depression, sadness, and even kidney stones!! Modern-day studies show that strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C and can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in humans.

Ideas for National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

You could always go to the store to purchase strawberry ice cream, or you can try making it yourself!

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