It's July and we're all screaming for ice cream benches.
Ursula Makepeace is our Unicorn-in-Residence here on Paradise Island. She's going to show us some cool ice cream benches for National Ice Cream
Ursula herself is very fond of ice cream so she's got the scoop.
What's all this about National Ice Cream month, Ursula?
Ursula: Well, it was started by President Reagan in 1984. He wanted the month of July to be National Ice Cream Month.
And National Ice Cream Day is on the third Sunday.
Or is that sundae?
Ursula: In 2016 National Ice Cream Day is July 17th.
Strange choice of month. I'd have put Ice Cream Month in winter.
Ursula: Most people enjoy ice cream in summer. One of the joys of summer is hearing the ice cream van's tinkling music as it gets nearer.
Lord Brassica's ice cream van played Tchaikovsky.
Of course. He grew up in a posh neighbourhood.
My dad used to tell me the music meant the ice cream was all sold out. He said all those people rushing to the van were going to be disappointed, so I didn't bother. Saved him a lot of money over the years.
Well, now you can rush out and get yourself a triple treat.
But July is that time of year when everything is melting.
And once your bench has melted, even your ice cream van is in danger.
Ice cream isn't normally associated with danger. I'd like to keep a positive note here, Seashell, if you don't mind.
I'm disappointed in you, Ursula. I was hoping you would shed some light on ice cream benches for us.
Like where did Ben meet Jerry?
What did Baskins think of Robbins?
And how far did the Arctic roll?
You need to cool down, Seashell. How about a nice colourful popsicle to suck on?
I think you'll find these are ice lollies.
I'll get on with the history now. Why don't you get yourself a cup of ice cream and have a seat on the bench?
Looks good enough to eat.
Great. You get on with that and I'll show you what's hot in ice cream.
Right now it's unicorn flavour!
|my photo, Montbaur, Germany|
Or Ein Horn as they say in Germany.
One horn, two horns. Who cares?
But is it true that Arctic Rush is the new name for slush?
I'll get to that.
I wish you'd get on with it. I've got my sunglasses on and I'm melting.
Can I begin now or are you going to keep interrupting?
I've made a valid point about heat though: in July, ice cream benches melt.
And now thinking about all this has given me Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. That's Ice Cream Headache to you.
The best thing is to find yourself a picnic bench, a little shade umbrella, and a cold vanilla cone.
I can make a pig of myself with ice cream. But vanilla? Isn't that a bit boring?
Well, it's still the number one ice cream flavour in the US.
Though of course nowadays you can get foie gras flavour, or horseradish or beetroot or haggis or . . .
Wait a minute! These are absurd flavours for ice cream.
Maybe you'd prefer black sesame ice cream? That's big in Japan. Or crocodile egg ice cream, which has become a favourite in the Philippines.
How about coronation chicken gelato, which you can get in London, or cheeseburger ice cream in Colombia? Bacon, octopus, horsemeat - they've all been made into ice cream.
Meat-flavoured ice cream leaves me cold.
I agree with you there, Seashell, but how about garlic ice cream or basil?
You'd be surprised how delicious these new flavours are.
What's wrong with a good old fashioned ice cream bar?
Nothing. Children love them.
I hope you aren't going to show a lot of kids eating ice cream.
Why not? Kids and ice cream go together like . . . strawberries and cream.
I suppose it's best to start them early.
It's never the wrong time to give someone ice cream.
I'm not one to complain but I've noticed that this story is a bit pink, Ursula. The ice cream is pink.
Lots of the benches are pink.
The ice cream van is pink.
And people are wearing pink.
Have you got something against pink?
No, it's just that here on Benchsite we've already done pink benches. Maybe you could show us some other colours of ice cream benches?
Of course. Here's a lovely multi-coloured popsicle bench. Or ice lolly as you say in the UK.
I was going to explain that the whole idea of ice cream started way back in China in 200 BC. Ice cream has a fascinating history.
Is this going to take long? Because if so, I'll bring a sandwich.
An ice cream sandwich bench of course.
I'd like to get on with it now if that's not too much to ask. Otherwise I'm going to the beach and you can do the history yourself.
Let me guess - ice cream started with snow cones?
Well, yes. In the T'ang dynasty in China the king kept 94 ice men on hand to lug ice to the palace. And in the Roman Empire the emperor sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavoured with fruits and juices.
Our friends Stanko and Darko are from Snowvenia.
They're very fond of snow cones though it can be hard to work out what's ice cream and what's just snow.
You have to look carefully.
|image by Lynne Woodward|
And the ice cream looks as colourful as the benches!
I wondered if you were ever going to mention benches, Ursula. I don't want to be critical but you've wandered off the subject a lot. What's happened to your ice cream bench story?
There were more than a few interruptions.
Alright. Carry on then.
Well, once upon a time there was a Dairy Queen . . .
Oh, no. No romantic stories this time.
But there was a Dairy Queen! Still is. It's called DQ now though.
Just give us a potted history of ice cream. Make sure you give credit to the cows who provide it.
You're udderly right, Seashell. We mustn't forget the cows.
Does the colour of cow matter I wonder?
Like blue cow, blue ice cream?
I would like to get on with my history if you don't mind.
So centuries ago the Arabs flavoured ice with rosewater, dried fruit and nuts. And the concept of ice cream spread all over the world.
There are so many different ways of making flavoured ices: granita in Spain, kulfi in Southeast Asia and the Middle East; gelato in Italy.
I had one of the best gelatos ever this summer. It wasn't in Italy though: it was at Glassissimo in Neuhaus in Germany.
And when we were at Lake Como last summer we had gelato every day at Lo Scalino.
We had limone, tiramisu, pesca, cioccolata, zabaione, pistachio . . .
Did you try spaghetti ice cream?
No, I'm very conscious of my weight.
And I wouldn't carry my ice cream into the toilets either.
Not in a month of
By the mid 18th century ordinary people in the Mediterranean region had access to ice cream. And ice cream reached the Americas in the eighteenth century. George Washington spent $200 on ice cream in the hot summer of 1790.
No, it wouldn't be. He cut down the tree, didn't he?
Did you know that newly arrived immigrants to the United States were welcomed with ice cream at Ellis Island?
With a welcome like that they wouldn't be up, up and away, would they?
|Dietmar Rabich, rabich.de, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons|
Americans are the biggest consumers of ice cream to this day. In 2011 they ate 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream.
Must be hard carrying all those gallons of ice cream around. Especially if you have to carry the freezer with you.
The invention of ice cream cones made ice cream more portable.
I guess ice cream cones made quite a splash.
Yes, they appeared at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904. And around the same time, so did sorbet, sherbert, sodas, and ice cream floats.
Nowadays ice cream is wall-to-wall.
. . . and old
people all over the world love eating ice cream cones.
There's even a National Ice Cream Cone Day in September.Lots of people get themselves an ice cream machine and make their own.
This ice cream machine looks like a gem.
It's a simple recipe.
You don't need a machine though. My imaginary best friend Miggy makes fabulous ice cream without a machine. The only problem is, you have to get there quick.
You know how some people are very keen on ice cream. They'll sit on an ice cream sundae bench and eat an ice cream cone.
It's probably better to buy individual cones rather than sharing a cup with someone like that.
|my photo, Minehead, Somerset|
Yes, but Miggy often buys two ice cream cones, both for herself.
You might need to stand up and demand your own.
After all this, I feel like ice cream.
Funny, you don't look like ice cream.
I HATE that joke.
And anyway, some people DO look like ice cream.
I like the look of this Polish ice cream.
I can recommend the truskawka. Or the czekolada. The wanilia is very nice too.
Hey, I think I can hear Tchaikovsky. Must be the ice cream van.
I've finished this history so I need a cup of coffee and an ice cream.
Me too, Ursula. But have you heard about the newest ice cream flavour in the US?
I'm not sure whether it's peach or mint?
Doesn't matter. Now I'm going to make like a banana and split.
Ursula Makepeace is our Unicorn in Residence here in Fribble-under-Par. She edited the story of Romantic White benches, which turned into a long-winded fairy tale but with some very romantic white benches. She came back to give Peace Benches a chance
and then in February for a hearty Valentine story about Heart Benches. My own heart was broken so maybe I wasn't as helpful as I could have been.
The three ice cream sundae benches at the beginning are from Asian Replicas in the Philippines and in this story there are five images of ice cream furniture from their shop www.asianreplicas.com Asian Replicas make a huge variety of food furniture, including ice cream benches and ice cream cone stools, a pizza bench, a cake bench, and a chicken and chips bench. Miggy says she'd definitely go for the ice cream. Their extensive catalog is at http://www.ardt.biz/ARDTCatalog2013/ARDT_Catalog_2013.zip For more edible benches and an incredible story about a chef from France, see
The International Dairy Foods Association website shows a whole history of ice cream and the many activities included in National Ice Cream Month. http://www.idfa.org/news-views/media-kits/ice-cream/the-history-of-ice-cream
I've shown some ice cream benches here on Benchsite in previous stories because benches and ice cream go together like summer and sunshine. And also like summer and ice cream. The ice cream sundae one was photographed in 2007 by cherry2far and I'm not sure where, though it says Bahamas in the corner, which might be a clue. https://www.flickr.com/photos/angel2dream/2299534730
In February 2004 Martyn from Cardiff was travelling in the mountains of Japan with snow all around and totally freezing weather (and this means something coming from a Welshman). He was amazed to see a shop really going for the big ice cream sell with a cone in the car park. I see that it has its own little stool too. https://www.flickr.com/photos/martyn/99338148/
The miniature Walls ice cream van in the sand is actually The Ice Cream Van at the End of the Universe. It was photographed by Mr Evil Cheese Scientist in 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/evil_cheese_scientist/9279660732/
Why a miniature ice cream van? Because sometimes you're not hungry enough for the restaurant.
The marvelous melting icing bench is by Lauren Doby in Dallas. Her shop is Neko Dahl, which is a curious little shop. At present it has some hair accessories and an iced donut stool. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NekoDahl
The melted ice cream van is an image from http://jokideo.com/tag/melted-ice-cream-van/ And oh isn't it sad? We all love the ice cream van, except possibly those who are irritated by the jingly music.
The arty ice cream flashlight cone is a 2011 design by Yau Hoong Tang, who lives in Kuala Lumpar. At his shop TangYauHoong, there are interesting fine art prints about light and other things. https://www.flickr.com/photos/tangyauhoong/5866805977/
Yau Hoong Tang's website is at http://shop.tangyauhoong.com/
Wonderlane from Seattle is simply wonderful. A Photographer Libre, she took some brilliant photographs in Mexico, including a delicious ice cream cup on a multi-coloured bench and a whole fiesta of other Mexican benches. Indeed she has a lot of bench pictures available on Creative Commons at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/4162664610/
The melted ice cream cone wearing sunglasses is one of a brilliant window display by a shop called Coblens Eyewear in Oldenburg, Germany. We saw it this summer while we were looking for a place to get ice cream.
Smooth & Smoothie is the bench set by Florent Degourc http://www.florentdegourc.com . Bubble-gum pink and mint green, the benches seem to be melting or dripping - perfect for ice cream. They were first exhibited at the Index interior design show in Dubai in 2010 and have received a lot of internet attention since then. The designer says about his work: Studies aimed or rather confused, an atypical path, opportunism, here is the recipe with which I managed to do what I love. I do not pretend to revolutionize the discipline, far from it, but I try to make a playful and practical approach in my daily observations. See more at http://degourc.florent.free.fr/about.php#sthash.xpetQYZb.dpuf
The adorable little pig eating ice cream at a picnic bench is an image seen at www.redditpics.com.6DpGNia I'm always wary of posed animal pictures but this little pig looks like he's enjoying his treat. And as for the piglet-sized picnic bench . . . Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly knows a lot about picnic benches; let him be your guide.
Thomas Hawk is a prolific photographer and amongst many, many others, he happens to a photo of 21 vanilla ice cream cones from 2005. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/9340906101/vanilla. Hi y'all, I'll be down at the DQ. He also has an album of Dairy Queen photos. Some of them are vintage, featuring the familiar red Dairy Queen sign but some of them use the more modern abbreviation DQ. This one is in Mesa, Arizona, photographed by Thomas in 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/31600080/
Emma and Her Cousins (2009) are the four happy kids eating ice cream in a small town. The photographer is Mish Mish, an Egyptian-American, born and raised in Texas. She's a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, MBA, financial analyst, blogger, dog-lover, brunette, and photographer. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mishmish/3516676025
The beautiful, surprised little girl eating ice cream is Audrey. She was photographed in 2012 at Skidway Lake in Michigan by George Thomas. https://www.flickr.com/photos/hz536n/7470251916/
The two little twins were eating ice cream bars on the 4th of July 2014. Looks like it might have been their first Fourth, and possibly even their first bar. The photographed is Donnie Ray Jones at https://www.flickr.com/photos/donnieray/14581168505/
Jennifer creates The Diary of Danboard (Danboard is the character I think) and there are some very interesting photos of Danboard, including Ice Box 3, in which Danboard (or someone looking remarkably like him) hands someone else a pink ice cream. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennifer-kecl/4045300573/
The closeup of pink ice cream is fresh strawberry, made by Joy Huang, a Taiwanese-American who finds joyosity in cooking. Not that ice cream is cooked. You can see Joy's recipe and more about the Cooking of Joy at http://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2009/05/fresh-strawberry-ice-cream.html The photo also appears on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/3541994035/
There's a clear Pink theme going on here, isn't there? We've had plenty of Pink Benches on Benchsite before - 50 Shades of Pink, in fact, including The hungry man in a pink shirt on a pink bench. He's about to enjoy his ice cream on a warm December evening in Puerto Vallarta in 2014. He was photographed by Bud Ellison https://www.flickr.com/photos/budellison/15993132409
The Green Tea ice cream sandwich is called Matcha and it's an ice cream dessert from Teanobi in Japan. Latte, pasta, cupcakes - Teanobi makes everything with green tea. And very intriguing it looks too. The 2013 photograph is by Kirinohana at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kiri_no_hana/9674443344/ For some brilliant Japanese designer benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/spring-comes-to-fribble-via-japan.html
Jellio is a world of fun childhood memories brought back as unique home furnishings: Rubik cube tables, lava lamps, cupcake stools - Jellio makes things to make you smile. Their brilliant ice cream sandwich bench certainly makes me smile. Check out their custom design projects and their really fun Jellio DIY projects to try at home www.jellio.com
The popsicle stick bench was photographed by Loren Javier at Princess Dot Puddle Park at Flik's Fun Fair in 2009. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenjavier/3716635389
Stanko and Darko come from the snow-bound republic of Snowvenia and they visited us in February when, in the depths of my winter despair, I failed to see the sense of their cheerful suggestions for making the most of being Frozen. Try any combination of the words ice, snow, cream, bench and fishing and you'll get the idea. Beware of snowy exclamation marks too! http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/frozen-ice-cold-benches-from-snowvenia.html
The blue person face down on the ice is my friend Lynne Woodward, who lives in Kiruna in Sweden. And she really is ice fishing. That's her sitting on an ice bench. She also took the photo of the beautiful church in Kiruna, and the icy pews inside the Ice Church. Lynne and Rolf run a very friendly B&B and know a lot about local customs and events. Oh, that B&Bs were always like this! Lynne writes a lively blog at http://www.blog.68degrees.se/ It's Everything You Want to Know About Sweden and some gorgeous photos as well.
The Slovenia word for ice cream is sladoled. Miggy and Mungo and I visited Slovenia in 2014 looking for benches and did we eat sladoled? We certainly did. Every day. More than once. This photograph was taken at Lake Bohinj, where there is an excellent ice cream parlour right on the lake. There were so many fruit flavours I had to go back twice. The blueberry was something to dream about.
The colourful Slovenia benches are in Ljublijana and were photographed by Américo Meira in 2010. Americo lives in Portugal and travels widely so his albums are full of brilliant scenes from places like Morocco, Turkey, and Slovenia. He also has a Bench album! https://www.flickr.com/photos/60083277@N00/4758515045/
The baby cow is Caden Rand, photographed by his mother for Halloween a few years ago. You may have
The blue cow statue was in Budapest in August 2008. The author is
(WT-en) Kulmalukko at English Wikivoyage and the photo is in the public domain
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cowstatue.jpg Should you wish to see more blue benches, see what happened on Blue Monday.
Back in August 2006 Till Krech, a software developer from Berlin, photographed his friend Peter eating bubble gum ice cream. Although it apparently tasted awful, it gave a nice blue tint to Peter's tongue. https://www.flickr.com/photos/extranoise/207561933/in/photolist-jkNW2
The family Glass make terrific ice cream at Glassissimo, which I think is where they live. It's on the bike path at Neuhaus on the Baltic Coast of Germany.
In Italy last summer Miggy and Mungo and I ate ice cream every day at the unforgettable Lo Scalino in Abbadia Lariana on Lake Como. At Lo Scalino Camilla Candiani makes home made ice cream every morning in her kitchen and sells it at her front door from 2 to 5 pm. Long before 2 pm we were already waiting for her to open the door. Favourite flavour? Grape! For more tasty Italian benches - not just ice cream - see
Christian Cable photographed the dish of spaghetti ice cream in Trier in 2007. Of course it's not really spaghetti and doesn't taste anything like spaghetti: it's vanilla with a strawberry sauce. He assures me it's delicious and I have no reason to doubt it. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nexus_icon/1191717420/
Back in 2006 Kevin Trotman asked a question about his photograph taken in the airport in Ulura, Australia: Restroom for Fat Couples with Ice Cream? Nice idea but I don't think so. Probably more like a sign showing restrooms for people carrying babies. But these babies sure do look like ice creams. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/222011993/
I keep reading that immigrant arrivals to the United States received ice cream at Ellis Island but I don't know if it's true. Seems unlikely, given the reception that immigrants anywhere receive these days. Still, this is a brilliant collage by Tilman Harte, who comes from Berlin. The source is selbst at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Soft_liberty_th.jpg
The BoFrost hotair balloon was at the Montgolfiade 2007 at Aaseewiesen in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The photographer is © Dietmar Rabich Dietmar Rabich, rabich.de, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M%C3%BCnster,_Montgolfiade_2007_--_2007_--_8.jpg His Flickr photostream is at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dietmar_rabich
petalouda62 has gorgeous albums of photographs from Iran. One of them from 2010 concerns bastani (ice cream). On a sunny day in Isfahan, I walked from Khaju bridge to Si-o seh Pol (another bridge). Along the river, the air heavy with the smell of roses and honeysuckle, I saw these 2 women enjoying an ice cream https://www.flickr.com/photos/30990153@N03/4564469223/
William Murphy in Dublin documents all kinds of Irish life, like Teddy's - Famous For Ice Cream. He writes: Since 1950 people have come from all over Dublin and beyond to queue at the hatch at Teddy's in order to purchase an ice cream cone on Sunny days. Teddy's is generally regarded as selling the best ice cream in Dublin but there is one problem in that it melts almost quicker than you can consume it. That explains the two cones upside down in the street. https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/6977754833/ For The Top o' the Irish benches, see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/st-patricks-top-o-irish-benches.html
Triple the Pleasure, 2008 is by Mark Kirchner, who photographs his daughter each year on her birthday (25th July, just a few days after National Ice Cream Day). You'll notice that all three are the same girl at different ages. She's on the same bench at Central Market, eating strawberry ice cream. Mark says that this one was the easiest one to compose, as he had her move around on the bench; earlier attempts required more photoshopping. https://www.flickr.com/photos/makz/3383161472
The old woman eating ice cream was photographed in Tairish-Tehran in 2008. The photographer is Oxford resident Kamyar Adl at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamshots/2453375667/
The man and boy on a bench with their ice creams is a bronze sculpture by Derek Wernher. It is greatly enjoyed in Cade Park, adjacent to the waterfront of Lake Winnepesaukee, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The photographer is Henry Zbyszynski, a photographer currentliy living in Capitola, California. https://www.flickr.com/photos/hankzby/5939523357/
At Licks Unlimited in Excelsior, Minnesota, the top scoop is Mackinaw Island Fudge (vanilla with fudge pieces) and on the bottom is a scoop of Zoreo (chocolate with Oreo and marshmallow). Yummy. They were photographed in July 2012 by jpellgen, a Minnesotan with Norwegian heritage. jpellgen is a published author/photographer who has lived in Japan and now works in education, as well as enjoying a variety of hobbies including travel, photography, dining, fitness, and spending way too much time on the internet. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpellgen/7686311858/
The Snow Ice Cream recipe is Kaylea Hutson's recipe for Snow Day Fun, sent to her in February 2015 by a reader of the publication she edits. Kaylea is a Missouri gal who now calls the land of Sooners & Cowboys home, but still has a dash of Dorothy and Razorbacks in her soul. Her photostream is at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaytebug/16673657845/ and she's also at www.myscrappylife.com
The empty ice cream cup on a bench was photographed by Aleja Wielkopolska in Poznan, Poland in June 2013. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Al._Wielkopolska_Poznan.jpg
The girl on a sundae bench holding an ice cream cone is another image from Asian Replicas www.asianreplicas.com
The blue chairs and cone were in Minehead in Somerset when Mungo and I visited in August 2013.
Did you know that September is National ice Cream Cone Month and there are loads of fun events throughout the month? Miggy with two ice cream cones is at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, where there used to be a very good Minghella ice cream place. Minghella ice cream is made on the island by the Minghella family. Some people claim the Isle of Wight is a paradise island. Why not have a look and make up your own mind.
Jessica Wilson is totally committed to Bench Mondays. That's her, standing on a bench with some brilliant signs and a giant ice cream cone. It's a Vacation Bench, apparently, taken in the town of Lee Vining after visiting Mono Lake. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jek-a-go-go/3809224475/ For a great time, have a look at jek-a-go-go's Bench Mondays.
There is no getting round it; the man in a lemon sweatshirt is amazingly similar to the lemon ice cream cone. You know the tired old Dad joke: I feel like an ice cream. Funny, you don't look like an ice cream. This man kind of does though. Let's Dad is a blog about Dadding. That includes Dad jokes of course. https://letsdad.wordpress.com/tag/guide-to-dad-jokes/
The bench with coffee and an ice cream cone was at the Makanda boardwalk in Makanda, Illinois back in 2006. The photographer is loreshdw, who doesn't even own a digital camera; she borrows one from family and friends, not knowing what the quality will be like. https://www.flickr.com/photos/loreshdw/164346365/
As the photographer asks, who doesn't want to eat ice cream while sitting on a banana split bench? The Royal Seat is a commissioned artwork by Northside artist Mary Kwakenat located at the Camden Dairy Queen. https://www.flickr.com/photos/91607162@N04/8387734091/ The photographer is Northside365.
The Polish ice cream is a photo from our 2015 bench-finding trip. Here on Benchsite there's a whole alphabet of Dutch benches and also a bench from each of the countries of Europe. This year we headed for the Baltic and Poland. A 15 year old caravan, a clapped out car, three second-hand bikes and a trio of frayed tempers - what could go wrong? In previous summers we
The Impeachmint Ice Cream photo was sent to me by a reader in May 2017 and added to the story. Many thanks!