National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July of each year as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Reagan recognized the popularity of ice cream in the United States (90% of the nation’s population consumes ice cream) and stated that these two events should be observed with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
Ice cream or ice-cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavorings and colorings are used in addition to (or in replacement of) the natural ingredients. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream.
The meaning of the term ice cream varies from one country to another. Terms like frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, like the USA, the term ice cream applies only to a specific variety, and their governments regulate the commercial use of all these terms based on quantities of ingredients. In others, like Italy and Argentina, one word is used for all the variants. Alternatives made from soy milk, rice milk, and goat milk are available for those who are lactose intolerant or have an allergy to dairy protein, or in the case of soy and rice milk, for those who want to avoid animal products.