Icecream for breakfast

February 4, 2012 - 8:35 PM by

Ben and Jerry's Israel ad for their ice cream club

According to my calendar, today was International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. I always thought that certain friends of mine down our Jerusalem block were the creators of this particular chag, LOL, but it turns out — thanks to the Facebook world — that they’re not, and many other communities worldwide celebrate the day.

In fact, when I typed ice cream for breakfast into the search bar of Facebook, dozens of posts popped up for celebrants around the globe, from Mexico, Seattle, Louisiana and Philly to Maine, Albany and Shanghai.

According to Serious Eats, all you need to do is eat ice cream, for breakfast, and on the first Saturday in February.

We’ve always celebrated on Saturday, Shabbat in our house, which is the only day that we’re all around, fairly calm and relaxed, and have the time to enjoy the wonders of ice cream for one’s first food of the day. Usually it’s a good selection of Ben & Jerry’s, sometimes with homemade ice cream as well, thanks to my nephew Natan, the artisanal ice cream connoisseur. Toppings? Not always, but it does add to the experience.

Serious Eats also adds that “the holiday was started in the 1960s in Rochester, New York by Florence Rappaport, who let her kids eat ice cream for breakfast on the first Saturday of February to make winter more bearable for them. Now this custom is done all over the world, from Minnesota to Israel to Australia.”

Turns out, there’s an official IEICFBD blog, where you can list your own celebration — there are four in Israel, including one in my own neighborhood of Talpiot (I think that one is hosted by other neighbors of ours) and one down at Kibbutz Ketura, where given the hot weather nearly year-round and a surfeit of American-born kibbutzniks, they’ve been celebrating for some 30 years.

It comes down to the fact that you just need to celebrate sometimes, and even with the upcoming holiday of Tu B’shvat, which, lord knows, offers ample opportunity for celebration, February can be a bleak month. So, if you missed it today, go for it next week. We won’t tell.

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