July 23rd

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day -

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Each year, on the 23rd of July, we celebrate National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. This light-hearted holiday invites individuals to enjoy a refreshing serving of vanilla ice cream, a beloved and classic dessert. The day emphasizes the joy of savoring simple pleasures, like the creamy, subtly spiced flavor of vanilla ice cream, which is adored globally.

This eye-catching event inspires you to enjoy a summertime favorite, showing the power of uncomplicated delights.

History of National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

It is often said that Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, was the one who brought vanilla ice cream to America. He reportedly came across the recipe while serving as the U.S. Minister to France between 1784 and 1789. He was so taken with it that he copied down the recipe. Today, Jefferson’s rendition of the recipe finds a place in the Library of Congress.

However, vanilla ice cream’s history can be traced further back. The humble vanilla, derived from orchids, originated among the Totonacs on the eastern coastal regions of Mexico. When the Totonacs became subjects of the Aztecs, the latter adopted vanilla and used it mainly to flavor their chocolate drinks.

Spanish Conquistador, Hernan Cortez, was introduced to the vanilla-infused chocolate drink when he visited Aztec Emperor Montezuma in 1519. Fascinated by these new flavors, Cortez took vanilla and chocolate back to Spain, which then spread their charm throughout Europe.

By the end of the 18th century, the French had found a way to mix vanilla into their ice cream, which at that time was a luxury enjoyed only by the upper class. This delightful combination soon made its way across the ocean to the United States, where it became a hit among the masses.

Throughout the years, vanilla ice cream has held its ground amid an explosion of new and adventurous flavors. Its timeless simplicity and versatility, serving as the perfect pair for many desserts, have cemented its status as an all-time favorite.

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day Timeline

Vanilla originated

Vanilla first used by the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, with the Aztecs being the most well-known users.

Vanilla Introduced to Europe

Hernán Cortés, a Spanish Conquistador, brings vanilla back to Europe from Mexico.

Ice Cream Introduced

Ice cream introduced to Europe by Sicilian Procopio Cuto. Vanilla was used as one of the flavoring ingredients.

First Recorded Vanilla Ice Cream

Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers, recorded the oldest known recipe of vanilla ice cream.

Ice Cream Churn Invented

Nancy Johnson developed a hand-cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream still used today.

More Commercial Production

The use of real vanilla in ice cream greatly increased, due to a drop in the cost of producing natural vanilla extract.

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day is platform to celebrate and enjoy vanilla ice cream.

Ideas to Celebrate National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

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Try New Vanilla Ice Cream Recipes

Make it a day of trying new recipes incorporating vanilla ice cream. This could include homemade ice cream sandwiches, shakes, sundaes, or a classic banana split.

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Host a DIY Ice Cream Sundae Party

Gather some friends or family for a DIY sundae party. Provide an array of toppings such as sprinkles, crushed cookies, fruits, and various syrups to customize each sundae, serving vanilla ice cream as the base.

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Visit a Local Ice Cream Parlor

Take a trip to a local ice cream parlor and order a scoop or two of their finest vanilla ice cream. This is a great way to support a local business while also celebrating the day. If possible, learn about how they make their ice cream.

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Participate in a Vanilla Ice Cream Eating Contest

Why not make the day more exciting by organizing a vanilla ice cream eating contest with your friends or family? Just ensure you manage your portions and remember to laugh and enjoy the fun.

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Experiment with Ice Cream Cocktails

For an adult spin to the day, experiment with creating cocktails using vanilla ice cream. Try concoctions such as vanilla ice cream and rum, or a classic root beer float but with your favorite beer or soda.

7 Interesting Facts About Vanilla Ice Cream


First Ice Cream Flavor

Vanilla was one of the first ice cream flavors developed and has remained a favorite ever since. Its flavor profile is often used as the base for many other ice cream flavors.


Vanilla Origin

Vanilla is derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, is translated simply as 'little pod'.


Most Popular Ice Cream Flavor

Despite the many different ice cream flavors available, vanilla continues to be the most popular flavor, with a market share of around 30%.


Thomas Jefferson's Recipe

A vanilla ice cream recipe was written down by Thomas Jefferson in the 1780s, when he was in France, which may be the first ice cream recipe in the United States.


Distinct Flavor Varieties

While it's common to treat 'vanilla' as a single flavor, there are actually several different varieties including French vanilla, vanilla bean, and creamy vanilla, each with a subtly different flavor profile.


The Color of Vanilla Ice Cream

The real vanilla ice cream is actually more of an off-white or slight yellow color, not the stark white that is often seen in commercials and photos due to the natural color of vanilla beans.


A Staple for Affogato

Vanilla ice cream serves as the base for the popular Italian dessert affogato, which consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in a shot of hot espresso.

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day FAQs

Next National Vanilla Ice Cream Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 July 23rd Sunday
2024 July 23rd Tuesday
2025 July 23rd Wednesday
2026 July 23rd Thursday
2027 July 23rd Friday
What is the pattern? Every July 23rd

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day Word Search

  • Vanilla
  • IceCream
  • Cone
  • Dessert
  • Scoop
  • Sundae