National Ice Cream Day!

For more than 30 years we’ve celebrated this cool holiday on the third Sunday of July. This year it’s on July 18th.

There are many fascinating stories and legends about the origins of ice cream dating back thousands of years. It seems that our love for this frozen treat started in China about 200 BCE when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow.

The first Canadian to start selling ice cream was Thomas Webb of Toronto, a confectioner, around 1850. In 1893, William Neilson produced his first commercial batch of ice cream.

Ice cream became popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century, after inexpensive refrigeration became common. And with that came an explosion of ice cream stores and of flavours and types. Vendors often competed on the basis of variety. Baskin-Robbins made its 31 flavours (“one for every day of the month”) The company now boasts that it has introduced more than 1,300 flavors since 1945.

Research indicates that chocolate is the most popular ice cream flavour, it’s the first choice of 23% of Canadians, followed by vanilla at 18%.