<p><strong>Here's the scoop on National Ice Cream Month. It's "the perfect dessert and snack food," a proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan on July 15, 1984, declared. But then, you knew that, right?</strong></p><p dir="ltr">In 2011, the United States' production of ice cream and other frozen desserts amounted to more than 1.5 billion gallons. Summer is high season—no surprise there—so production gets in high gear in March and April, and tapers off after August.</p><p>What's the origin of that tub of chocolate chip, butter pecan, or vanilla in your freezer waiting for its cue to appear in its starring role as dessert? No one really knows. Alexander the Great enjoyed honey-flavored snow and ice, and Nero dispatched runners into the mountains for snow to be flavored with fruit juice. They knew a good thing when they ate it.</p><p><em>—Emma Weissmann</em></p>

The "Perfect" Dessert

Here's the scoop on National Ice Cream Month. It's "the perfect dessert and snack food," a proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan on July 15, 1984, declared. But then, you knew that, right?

In 2011, the United States' production of ice cream and other frozen desserts amounted to more than 1.5 billion gallons. Summer is high season—no surprise there—so production gets in high gear in March and April, and tapers off after August.

What's the origin of that tub of chocolate chip, butter pecan, or vanilla in your freezer waiting for its cue to appear in its starring role as dessert? No one really knows. Alexander the Great enjoyed honey-flavored snow and ice, and Nero dispatched runners into the mountains for snow to be flavored with fruit juice. They knew a good thing when they ate it.

—Emma Weissmann

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ALL YEAR CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Pictures: Scoop—It's National Ice Cream Month

July is the month to celebrate the sweet treat, thanks to President Ronald Reagan who issued the proclamation in 1984.

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