Red, ripe, juicy strawberries churned and frozen with some fresh cream and a bit of sugar is all that is needed to make a delicious strawberry ice cream. And as National Strawberry Ice Cream Day is here, it’s not even necessary to be a person named Ben or Jerry to celebrate – everyone can enjoy a bowl full of this tasty treat!
History of National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
Although ice cream probably feels like a fairly modern invention, variations of iced treats and fruit ices actually go back for thousands of years. As long ago as the third century BC, it is believed that people in China would serve their guests sweetened juices mixed with snow or ice shavings, which were often harvested from nearby mountains.
More recently, it is believed that Alexander the Great was a great fan of eating snow and ice treats that were flavored with nectars and honey. There is even some evidence that King Solomon, a historical and biblical character, enjoyed ice drinks as well. Stories are also told of how Nero Claudius Caesar would send runners into the mountains to gather up snow, which would then be flavored with juices and fruits.
After many years of history, fruit ice creams continue to be extremely popular, with strawberry ranking third in the list of flavors, after vanilla and chocolate. This is not a surprise, considering how refreshing and mouth-wateringly delightful a bowl or cone of strawberry ice cream is.
As far as strawberry ice cream is concerned, it is believed that it dates back more than 200 years ago, at least as far back as the year 1813. It was at this time that the delicious treat was served at the second inauguration party for the United States President at the time, James Madison. It is believed that this was accomplished prior to refrigeration with the use of huge blocks of ice that were stored in basement vaults and insulated with bales of hay.
Strawberry is also a favorite when it is combined with two other flavors of ice cream, chocolate and vanilla, to create what is known as Neapolitan. This treat seems to have originated in Naples, Italy and it is known for the fact that it is made in the form of a large block. During the early 19th century, this was particularly useful as the block gave it an advantage when it came to staying frozen during travel.
Some historians note that the first National Strawberry Ice Cream Day was celebrated in the United States as early as 1932.
So now it’s time to celebrate National Strawberry Ice Cream Day!
How to Celebrate National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
This particular day is certainly a delight to celebrate! Combining fresh strawberries and delicious ice cream makes a great day even better. Try out these creative ideas for celebrating the day:
Enjoy a Cup or Cone of Strawberry Ice Cream
Celebrate this special day with a trip to an ice cream parlor or grocery store and say a very berry hello to the sweet strawberry! Certain ice cream shops and parlors may even be offering special deals or coupons in honor of the day, so be sure to ask about discounts.
Some of the brands of strawberry ice cream that people love to indulge in include:
- Häagen-Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream. Super rich and milky, this strawberry ice cream is filled with jammy ribbons of fruity deliciousness. Plus, it has a fairly short list of ingredients.
- Breyers’ Strawberry Ice Cream. Dedicated to using the fewest, most natural ingredients possible, Breyers ice cream is made with sun-ripened strawberries and doesn’t have any GMOs.
- Tillamook Oregon Strawberry Ice Cream. This one is a bit softer to scoop and boasts little bits of Oregon strawberry chunks right inside. The company aims for natural over artificial and aims for simplicity.
- Blue Bell Strawberry Ice Cream. Rich and fluffy, this ice cream is a big hit with kids. It’s more affordable than some (but it also does contain its fair share of artificial flavors) and has a bright pink hue.
Make Strawberry Ice Cream at Home
Although it’s a bit more of an investment than buying strawberry ice cream at the store, it’s a delicious way to celebrate the day. It might be a bit time-consuming, so it may even be better to make it the day before, depending on the particular recipe and machine that is being used.
Strawberry ice cream doesn’t require a great many ingredients. Just some sliced fresh strawberries, some whole milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and some additional ingredients as desired, like honey or even vodka. Some recipes use eggs, which means they need to be cooked first. This might be a bit more time-consuming, but it also yields a much creamier result.
Try a Strawberry Ice Cream Variation
One beautiful thing about this delicious treat is that it is versatile and has a variety of different variations that can be enjoyed. Of course, plain ice cream made with fresh strawberries is excellent on its own. But some other fun and exciting versions might include:
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. Adding the flavor of sweet cream cheese and graham cracker crust, this ice cream treat is a fun take on the classic strawberry.
- Strawberry and Basil Ice Cream. Herbs have long been a beautiful balancer to the sweetness of fruit! A recipe using strawberries and basil, as well as ricotta cheese, gives a unique gourmet twist on this classic recipe.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Cream. Mixing fruit with chocolate is, oh, so divine! This take on strawberry ice cream brings these two beautiful worlds together.
- Strawberry Mango Swirl. Keep it fruity and tasty by mixing strawberry fruit chunks with mango, a combination which gives a tropical island feel.
Throw a National Strawberry Ice Cream Day Party
Huge fans of Strawberry Ice Cream can take things one step further and plan a whole party centered around the theme of this delicious treat. Of course, the main dish offered could be a dessert bar, centered around the guest of honor: strawberry ice cream. Build a toppings bar that allows guests to add whatever type of toppings they prefer to their ice cream, including toppings such as crumbled cookies, fruit chunks, chopped nuts, syrups, candies and much more.
A fun activity at the National Strawberry Ice Cream Day party would be actually making ice cream in an electric ice cream maker. Decorations could, of course, be balloons and streamers that are made to reflect strawberries. And guests could even be invited to get in the spirit of things by dressing in red or straw-berry themed outfits.
Learn Fun Facts About Strawberries
Impress friends and family members with these bits of trivia about strawberries:
- Strawberries are the only fruit that contain the seeds on the outside.
- Every strawberry has approximately 200 seeds on the outside.
- Technically, strawberries are not actually a berry, but are called accessory fruits.
- Strawberries are actually part of the rose family.