Blame Ronald Reagan! He is blamed for various highs and lows in world affairs, these days, but one thing he certainly accomplished was this: President Reagan in 1984 designated July as National Ice Cream Month. Reagan was not alone; 90 percent of Americans love the creamy sweet stuff.
This may seem like a trivial, industry-driven holiday—but ice cream is one of the world’s ancient wonders! The Persians are credited with concocting the first frozen sweet treats. Or, perhaps Persian sweet ices are just the oldest-surviving traditions in the world. Around 400 BC, Persians began pouring fruity-sweet concoctions over snow. Soon, they were experimenting with exotic recipes involving rose water and smooth forms of flour pasta. The Chinese tried combinations with milk and rice around 200 BC. In any case, by the height of ancient Rome, emperors could command elaborate frozen sweet treats from vast distances. Nero reportedly sent slaves to collect ice and snow from mountain peaks to keep his sweet tooth humming.
Finally, turning to the mind-body-spirit connection that is the specialty of ReadTheSpirit—people are talking about Brain Freeze over the July 16-17 weekend. Grabbing the Ice Cream Month theme, some Sunday comics had fun with characters gobbling too much ice cream. Turns out—it can make make your head ache! Wikipedia has an overview.
riginally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.