Dig deep, deep inside your soul and be very honest. You’ve eaten ice cream for breakfast at least once in your life. Whether you are ashamed of it or not, we have all been there.
Saturday, Feb. 2 was National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day, a day that eating a struggle-breakfast is actually encouraged.
More than 300 people came to indulge in this hedonistic tradition from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a snowy mid-winter day at The Merry Dairy, an Ottawa ice cream shop on Fairmont Avenue.
“We had heard about it from other ice cream shops and decided to go with it,” says owner of The Merry Dairy, Marlene Baley. “We really wanted a fun way to start the season in the middle of winter.”
The Merry Dairy took this opportunity to celebrate their re-opening and beginning of the 2019 season. The shop is closed during January and re-opens every year on the first Saturday of February.
“I’ve had ice cream for breakfast only once before,” says Abby Vandzura, uOttawa student, who celebrated ice cream for breakfast say on Saturday. “I was hungover.”
New breakfast inspired flavours like coffee, london fog, grapefruit and maple, among others, were served atop a warm waffle (the only actual breakfast part of this affair). And with the help of Equator Coffee, ice cream lovers who wore pyjamas got a free coffee or hot chocolate with their breakfast.
“I woke up at 8 a.m. for this, so the coffee was needed,” says Romina Armijo, a recent graduate from Algonquin who visited the shop to get her ice cream fix.
It is believed that National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day was initially created by a Rochester, NY mother in the 60s in an effort to entertain her children on a cold winter morning. The unofficial national holiday has been celebrated worldwide ever since.
“It was so successful last year that we have decided to do it every year,” says Baley.
During the spring and summer months, The Merry Dairy deploys an ice cream truck into the streets of Ottawa. The only difference between then and now is that people who go out in the snow to enjoy a scoop or two are doing it solely for the love of ice cream.
“[I was] very happy, there was great spirit today,” says Baley, “it was a really fun day.”