DSC09869 (375x352)Each year, when the spring weather starts to warm up, there’s a familiar ditty heard ‘round the world: “Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream!”

It’s just plain American to indulge in the traditional ice cold, creamy-sweet concoction once summer is in full swing. Kids like it in waffle cones; adults, in paper bowls; teens sup milk shakes and ice cream sodas through straws…literally, 90% of the nation’s population consumes ice cream.

History tells us that the origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings; and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China created a method of blending ice and milk together with honey to make a sort of cold pudding.” It is thought Chinese merchants brought ice cream to Europe, and Europeans eventually brought it to North America. Through the centuries, cooks created all kinds of recipes for ices and sherbets, and at some point in time, ice cream became not only fashionable, but a household necessity.

The first ice cream parlor originated in New York City in 1776, and American colonists were the first to call it “ice cream.” A century later, a woman by the name of Nancy Johnson, and a man by the name of William Young each registered patents for hand-cranked “ice cream freezers.” Many remember helping moms, dads and grandparents make homemade peach ice cream each Fourth of July by sitting on the back porch stoop loading up the sides of the old ice cream maker with rock salt and turning the handle for what seemed forever until finally there was ice cream. While labor intensive, there was nothing tastier.

Fast forward to present times. Former President Ronald Regan recognized the universality of ice cream and so dedicated the month of July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month.  Forever afterwards, it has officially been celebrated on the third Sunday in July, even though everyone knows ice cream is consumed year ‘round.

As a nation, we love ice cream so much we spoon up 1,650 million gallons of goodness yearly. To be so designated, ice cream must contain a least 10% milk fat.  Premium ice cream may contain as much as 16%! The more butter fat, the more delectable the treat.

We at GreenAcres are conscious not only of our waistlines, we’re quite aware that many of our customers can’t digest all that dairy. They may be lactose intolerant, have food sensitivities or simply prefer a “cleaner, lighter concoction.” So we stock a huge variety of dairy free ice creams that are made with coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk, iced yogurt, fruit (sherbets) and more.

DSC09871 (325x244)Most would not know the difference between whole milk ice cream and the dairy-free varieties we carry, but for those who insist on the real, rich deal, we carry Alden’s (organic and traditional) and Talenti. For those who are dairy free, we have NadaMoo!, Coconut Bliss, SO Delicious as well as frozen yogurts, to name a few.

This month, if you look in our newsletter, you’ll find Wallaby organic, lowfat yogurt (10/$10), Amande Almond Milk cultured yogurt (4/$5) and Maple Hill Creamery Organic Creamline Yogurt (5/$5.) They aren’t technically ice creams, but with some macerated strawberries or some warmed cinnamon apples, most of us wouldn’t care whether we had “real” ice cream or not.

 At GreenAcres-Bradley Fair, we serve a non-dairy soft serve “ice cream,” and there are numerous bars, ice cream sandwiches, “juice” sickles, frozen kefir sticks and more.

We invite everyone to take a walk around all eight of our GreenAcres Markets and peek inside our frozen cases. We bet you’re going to love what you see and soon you’ll be screaming, “ice cream, ice cream…we want ice cream!”