Ice Cream for Breakfast Day: An Annual Alternative to Frosties

Ever heard of Ice Cream for Breakfast Day?

It will come as little surprise to learn that this event, now celebrated throughout the world, originated in the U.S.A., when a particularly snowy day in mid-sixties Rochester, New York, saw all schools closed and the neighbourhood children at a loose end.

The story goes that resourceful mother of six, Florence Rappaport, placated her confined and irritable offspring by suggesting that they enjoy the delights of ice cream as their first meal of the day. And from that day forward, the first Saturday in February was known in Florence’s house as Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

The tradition began to spread when the children grew and went to college, where they introduced their friends to the custom. Further kudos for this icy, morning treat was gained when Florence’s well-travelled grandchildren encouraged their global acquaintances to give it a try.

What began as a family celebration has, to date, been witnessed as far afield as Nepal, Namibia, Germany, New Zealand, Honduras and China, and has gained particular popularity in Israel.

In contemporary America, ice cream vendors have begun to use Ice Cream for Breakfast Day as a fundraising tool for various charity organisations.

So, why not try bacon flavour? Originating in a 1973 comedy sketch by The Two Ronnies, this unlikely combination was brought to life by Heston Blumenthal as an April Fools’ Day joke. Created by adding bacon to a scrambled egg custard, it now features as a signature dish on his menus.

Or if you don’t fancy that, how about some garlic ice cream? According to The Stinking Rose, a San Francisco restaurant that proudly boasts that all of its dishes contain this pungent ingredient, garlic ice cream is essentially vanilla with added garlic. Can’t wait to sample that one!!

Or for a fishy alternative, Oyster ice cream has been around since 1842 and was featured in Mark Twain’s ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. But if none of these exotic flavours fills your cone, there’s always trusty old choc-chip or raspberry ripple.

When you look out of your window on a cold February morning to see everything covered in frost, you may think that a bowl of steaming porridge might warm your cockles. But just once a year you could indulge yourself on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. You never know, it could catch on.

Tony Flower