Today is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, and if you’re one of those folks who cannot remember what you did this time last year on the holiday, you probably had a really good National Vanilla Ice Cream Day last year. That’s the point.
Vanilla ice cream was probably invented in the late tenth century AD by Vikings. Or was it Tom Carvel, in the mid-1970s, sometime between the introduction of the chain’s galavanting, space alien–themed ice-cream cake Cookie Puss, and Cookie O’Puss, his vaguely Irish cousin who may have been designed by a piping bag–wielding xenophobe. Either way, the world is chaotic and horrible and for whatever reason, this nonsense food holiday feels like the kind of bland comfort we could use right now.
According to a prescient Minions meme, “Stressed spelled backwards is ‘desserts.’” True to form, the countless cones of vanilla that are passed through Mister Softee and drive-through windows tend to have a pacifying unflavored flavor, plus an appealing dull foaminess. As such, vanilla is the Slanket of ice-cream flavors, and the two things pair well. Put on your favorite Slanket, get a cone or a cup, and start prepping for this weekend’s apocalyptic blood-moon eclipse ceremony, when, if you’re like us, you’ll be (comfortably) praying for the Arctic Circle to stop being on fire.
So gather ye soft serve while ye may. But do not, under any circumstances, call out any other ice-cream flavor, at least until July 25, when it’s National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. Today is not for strawberry or rocky road, or mousse or pot de creme. Today is not even for parfaits, whatever those are.