• Alex Gerlach

Happy National Ice Cream Month

Updated: Jun 19

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This month is National Ice Cream Month, which is the only excuse we need to indulge in some frozen treats. Seasoned ice cream lover and Storyteller Alex is going to talk about the history of ice cream and the unique ways it’s eaten in different places around the world.

Kohr Bros Ice Cream in downtown Cape May, New Jersey
Kohr Bros Ice Cream in downtown Cape May, New Jersey

Back in 1984, Kentucky Senator Walter Dee Huddleston introduced a bill that would declare July 15th, 1984 National Ice Cream Day and the entire month as National Ice Cream Month. Later that year, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law, dedicating July of 1984 to everyone’s favorite frozen treat. Despite the bill specifying the year 1984, Americans around the country still continue the tradition annually.


I couldn’t tell you what inspired Senator Huddleston to propose such a bill, but I definitely won’t complain! I think ice cream is one of those things that everyone loves. I mean, we each have our own favorite flavors and toppings. Heck, you can even take quizzes that will tell you which ice cream flavor you’re most like.


Growing up, I always had ice cream at my house in the summer. that my mom would pass out to the neighborhood kids. And living near the shore, communities often gather in the summer evenings at local ice cream shops. This frozen dessert is truly enjoyed by many, and I want to talk about a few of my favorite types of ice cream from around the world.

Alex and two of her friends enjoying gelato on a trip to Venice while studying abroad
Alex and two of her friends enjoying gelato on a trip to Venice while studying abroad

Norway

Norwegians love ice cream. At least, my cousins seem to! Every time I’ve traveled to visit my family in Norway, one thing I found myself eating a lot of ice cream. And while the ice cream wasn’t much different from the type I found in the United States, they did have some of the best toppings.


My absolute favorite ice cream anytime I go to Norway is soft ice cream with chocolate powder, or “softis med sjokoladepulver.” And it’s exactly what it sounds like. The powder used is ground very finely, but you could honestly make it at home using any powder chocolate used for making chocolate milk. But of course, it will never taste as good as it does when you’re in Norway!

Japan – Mochi Ice Cream

Mochi Ice Cream is high up on the list of my favorite types of ice cream. You just can’t beat it: it's bite-sized, the sweet and chewy mochi, and, of course, the creamy, frozen center. I was first introduced to it at Asian restaurants. But as popularity has grown for Asian desserts, I now see ice cream mochi sold in most food stores.


Mochi Ice Cream is actually a spinoff of a popular Japanese rice cake called mochi. This sticky, sweet rice dough is divided into small portions and rolled out thinly. Then, it’s wrapped around portions of ice cream; popular flavors include green tea, red bean, and mango. After fully setting in the freezer, they are ready to eat!

Japan's Mochi Ice Cream
Japan's Mochi Ice Cream

Thailand – I Tim Pad

This ice cream is best recognized as Thai rolled ice cream. I remember years ago when it first became really popular in the U.S. and all these Asian dessert and ice cream stores started opening. In Thailand, this treat started as street food and dessert and was popularized by customers who shared videos of the vendors “stir-frying” or rolling the ice cream.


What’s cool about rolled ice cream is that it’s made fresh and on the spot. Using a freezing surface, a milk-based liquid and other ingredients are chopped up and mixed until a creamy texture is formed. Then, the mixture is spread out thinly across the surface and rolled into a cylinder shape using a spatula.

Thailand's I Tim Pad
Thailand's I Tim Pad

Iran - Faloodah

So I’ve never actually had this ice cream or been to Iran, but I came across Faloodeh and had to give it a shoutout. This version of ice cream is a testament to how different it is all over the world. Faloodeh is a traditional Iranian dessert that supposedly dates all the way back to 400 B.C and is basically the original spaghetti ice cream.


This dessert is made by cooking a thin starch batter of either rice, maize, or potatoes. It’s then pressed to create thin noodles and chilled in ice water. After the ice bath, they are combined with syrup and rapidly cooled. Upon serving, lime or rosewater are typically added over top for a unique floral, citrusy flavor.

Iranian Faloodeh
Iranian Faloodeh

Here at Pedacitos Blog, we are always exploring the different things that connect us across even the farthest of distances, and ice cream is one of those things! This month, we encourage you to try out a new flavor or type of ice cream to expand your frozen palette. Have a favorite ice cream or know about a unique type of ice cream? Tell us in the comments below or share it in the Pedacitos Forum!

 

Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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