News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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July 7, 2013

‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

TERRE HAUTE — Words from an old 1928 hit song aptly describe America’s beyond-fond feelings for ice cream. We all apparently screamed so much about the frozen sweet concoction that President Ronald Reagan in 1984 declared July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.

As a matter of fact, research shows the United States ranks No. 1 in the world in ice cream consumption and, according to some reports, Indiana is only outranked by California in ice cream production. It is estimated that Americans yearly consume an average of 23.4 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other frozen diary products, and 98 percent of all households purchase ice cream.

Although there is much controversy concerning the history of ice cream, some reports say it originated in China, others say it was from a cook of Charles I of England. It is also reported that the Roman Emperor Nero Claudis Caesar used to send his slaves to the mountains to bring back snow and ice to use in fruit drinks. But one of the most popular accounts is that Marco Polo (1254-1324) while in China saw ice cream being made and in turn, introduced it in Italy. There really is no historical evidence for any of these stories. It is reported however, that in 1776 the first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City and that Dolly Madison served ice cream as a dessert in the White House at the second inaugural ball in 1812.

Whatever its origins, ice cream certainly has expanded and today is a favorite worldwide. It’s reported that ice cream novelties, such as ice cream bars, were introduced in the 1920s and that, surprisingly, adults consume nearly one-half of all the ice cream novelties available.

There are quite a few places around the Wabash Valley where residents and visitors today can purchase the sweet, creamy, frozen delight known as ice cream — and all of its sidekicks from ice cream sodas to malts to shakes to sundaes to Flavor Burst cones.

Below are just a few of the mom-and-pop ice cream shops:

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