Hail to the Chief Lover of Ice Cream

It took ice cream to end this raucous affair.

This past summer I blogged about George Washington’s love for ice cream. It turns out he wasn’t the only Commander and Chief who had a fondness for the frozen treat.

Ice cream seems to have enjoyed first dessert status with many of those who have held the highest office. It was often listed as an official dessert at White House dinners while many Presidential Inaugurations featured it.  James Buchanan alone served 1,200 gallons of it to those gathered for his festivities. However, only Andrew Jackson used ice cream to end his inauguration. His party got a bit out of hand. Revelers swarmed the White House and turned it upside down. To lure the rowdy crowd out of the mansion, servants carried ice cream (and wine) outside. It seemed to work. Can’t say if it was the ice cream or the wine that did it.

A sabotiere was used to make ice cream in Thomas Jefferson's day.

Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, was known to have harvested ice from the Rivanna River to make his ice cream which he served year round. He also penned his own recipe for ice cream that is housed at the Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson’s good friend and our 4th president, James Madison, also stored ice from ponds around his home, Montpelier. He then used it to make ice cream.

Other White House lovers of ice cream include Franklin Roosevelt who ate it every day. Harry Truman was known to be very fond of ice cream, and one of John F. Kennedy’s favorite foods was ice cream with hot fudge. Richard Nixon had his favorite flavors flown in from Hawaii and Europe while Gerald Ford admitted to being an ice creamaholic.

Thanks to Ronald Reagan, ice cream got its own month and day. By presidential proclamation, President Reagan made July National Ice Cream Month and July 15 National Ice Cream Day.

Our current president, Barack Obama, continues this long tradition of presidential ice cream lovers. As a teenager, he worked in an ice cream shop. He must have developed quite a taste for it since he can be frequently seen taking out his family for some ice cream.

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