IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that in America locals and visitors alike have just licked their way through more ice cream in 24 hours than any other day of the year.
But it had nothing to do with the heat and possible mid-summer madness, rather to something a lot higher than that – an Official Proclamation in 1984 by the President himself (Ronald Reagan) that the Third Sunday of July of every year was to be recognised forever thereafter as American National Ice Cream Day.
And loyal subjects have been obeying that command ever since, contributing to the $11-billion a year they spend on ice cream, and eating their way through 26 litres per head of the stuff annually. This makes them the world's biggest consumers of ice cream, with New Zealanders, interestingly, in second place at 23 litres per head per year, and Aussies third with 18 lip-licking litres.
And for a bit of trivia, in the late 1800s after the introduction of the first new-fangled "soda fountains," churches criticised the eating of "sinfully rich sodas" in these places on Sundays. In response, soda fountains stopped serving ice cream with soda and flavouring in voluminous tall glasses, and instead offered just ice cream and flavouring in small bowls on the Sabbath – selling their creations as Ice Cream Sundays.
Then later to even further appease the churches, the ice cream parlours got together and jointly changed this name to Ice Cream Sundae… while quietly increasing the size of bowls and serves.
 ICE CREAM'S wonderful world of flavours. (Wikimedia)