It’s the first official day of summer, and I’m celebrating with my first official hot fudge sundae!* Ice cream is far and away my favorite vice, and I’m not alone. America has a deep rapport with frozen treats. Cynics might dismiss it as rebound love from our heart-wrenching (albeit temporary) break-up with beer in the 1920s. But they're forgetting our history with frozen dairy products. After all, we were friends first. Good friends.
Credit for the first all-American ice cream recipe goes to none other than Thomas Jefferson. James Madison celebrated his reelection with a strawberry sundae party. George Washington himself was alleged addict, spending 200 bucks on ice cream his second summer in office. That's thousands of dollars in today’s money.** Can you imagine the carnage our founding fathers would wreak upon a Cold Stone Creamery?
Milwaukee does itself proud in the iced cream department. Sam and I live perilously close to Kopp’s Frozen Custard, a local burger and ice cream joint we literally dreamed about while living in Asia. Right behind it in our affections is the Northpoint, a lakefront stand owned by a famous family of Milwaukee restauranteurs. I drive past Purple Door Ice Cream several times a week and sometimes rendezvous with them at the grocery store as well. With all this, I’ve hardly had time to hang out with my old friends Ben and Jerry.
This might sound excessive, but estimates show that Americans down 48 pints of ice cream apiece each year. That’s a high standard to meet. So I’ve been working hard to prepare for the 2016 season and am pleased to report I’m exceeding expectations.
Which is why I’m currently accepting applications from lactose-intolerant citizens to take on their quota as well. There’s no need to thank me—I'm just into good deeds.
*Pre-season sundaes don’t count in the yearly stats.
**1790 must’ve been a rough summer. I’d hate to see his bill for gin.
NOTE: It was pointed out to me that Kopp's and Northpoint serve frozen custard, not ice cream, and that this is noteworthy because frozen custard is better than ice cream. This is absolutely true. I'm just lazy, and group everything dressed in hot fudge as "ice cream."
I know. I'm a philistine.