We welcome July to celebrate our Independence, but we also celebrate our love for food. Here are 24 days that you can celebrate if you are a foodie.
July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day
Fried chicken’s a greasy, deliciously indulgent comfort food enjoyed all over the world. But did you know that the ultimate soul food originated in our own backyard — where Scottish chicken-frying methods were combined with West African seasoning traditions — to create what is now one of the world’s favorite guilty pleasures? Fried chicken was an expensive delicacy up until World War II, but thanks to mass production techniques, we’re now able to indulge ourselves on the cheap in almost any city in the world. So on July 6, we get out our buckets ‘o’ chicken and napkins, because it’s National Fried Chicken Day.
July 7 – National Strawberry Sundae Day
Hot summer days call for a sweet, refreshing treat. National Strawberry Sundae Day is July 7 and there is no better way to escape the summer heat than with this delicious dessert. There are many U.S. cities that still battle over claiming stake as the birthplace of the sundae in the late 1880s, but one thing is for sure, the sundae is an American favorite.
July 9 – National Sugar Cookie Day
Arguably one of the greatest holidays of all time, National Sugar Cookie Day falls on July 9 each year and provides us with the perfect excuse to indulge in our guiltiest, sugar-filled cravings. They’re fun, they’re classic, but most importantly, they taste unbelievably delicious. Originating back in the 1700’s in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, sugar cookies were initially referred to as Nazareth Cookies by German Protestant settlers and baked in the shape of a keystone, their state’s symbol. Fast forward a couple hundred years later and traditional sugar cookies are now a treasured staple amid most households. Though they are outwardly simple, sugar cookies are a popular treat frequently consumed on numerous different occasions, including Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and birthdays. There are ample ways to celebrate this holiday — but really, do we need a reason to celebrate sugar cookies?
July 10 – National Piña Colada Day
A frosty and delightfully creamy concoction of pineapple, rum, and coconut cream, the Piña Colada, was first created in Puerto Rico in 1954. Although its history is contested among Puerto Ricans, it is rumored that the bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero first prepared it at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 16, 1954. The hotel had requested that Monchito mix a new signature drink that embodied the flavors of the island and shortly after he accepted the challenge, the Piña Colada was born. Regardless of its history, we can all agree that this drink is pretty tasty. On July 10, we celebrate National Piña Colada Day so kick back with the tropical, frothy, boozy cocktail (preferably poured into a hurricane glass) and do the best thing possible with them… drink them!
July 11 – National Free Slurpee Day
National Free Slurpee Day is on July 11 and we can’t wait to get our sugar fix while beating the heat, for free. 7-Eleven began celebrating the day back in 2002, but the beloved frozen treat has been around since the late 1950’s. With more than 300 flavors —ranging from sweet (Vanilla, 7-Elemon), to sour (Warhead, Sour Apple), to the exotic (Mango, Lychee)— there’s a Slurpee for every palette.
*Please note that National Free Slurpee Day 2020 was canceled by 7-Eleven because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 12 – National Eat Your Jello Day
Jell-O was trademarked in New York in 1897, but it’s a classic dessert we all know and love! The best part of it is that it comes in a variety of flavors and can be combined with many ingredients for a simple, delicious treat. Thanks to some very crafty chefs, we can also from Jell-O into fun shapes. So get ready to celebrate July 12 by eating Jell-O just the way you like it!
July 13 – National French Fry Day
When it comes to the tastiest French fries on the planet, everyone seems to have an opinion. It’s a time consuming decision to find your favorite, because no two restaurants seem to have the same recipe. So National French Fry Day on July 13 is a great opportunity to take the time to sample some golden-brown potato slices. Estimates say Americans eat around 20 to 30 pounds per person per year. That seems like a lot, but when you think about all the ways you can eat fries, it adds up quickly. They’re easy to gobble down, whether they’re straight out of a fast food French fry container or whether you’re an expert at making fries at home. Add in all of the different condiments, and these simple potatoes become even more popular.
Note: French fries do have a nutritional stigma attached to them due to high caloric and fat content. But it’s tough to say no to a hot batch — even the ones that are at the bottom of the bag.
July 14 – National Mac and Cheese Day
It’s perhaps the king of comfort foods, the dominant dish of America, and a favorite of all ages all over the country: Macaroni and cheese. Golden and gooey, baked and hearty, this sideline staple or main dish can be served up any number of ways, and on July 14, you’ll have the opportunity to try as many of these as you can on National Mac and Cheese Day, also known as National Macaroni and Cheese Day. Kraft may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of mac and cheese, for good reason. The company has been dishing out delight in the form of a box since 1937, but the origins of the creamy casserole can be traced back hundreds of years to Italy, where pasta and parmesan have been a staple meal for centuries. In America, some credit Thomas Jefferson for bringing the recipe back to America after spending time in Italy, but this idea has been disputed. There’s no way to know whether it’s all bologna.
July 18 – National Caviar Day
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of caviar? “Oh, what a delicacy!” or “Ew! Fish eggs.” Whether you’re a fan or foe, National Caviar Day is celebrated nationwide on July 18 every year. Technically, real caviar isn’t just any fish eggs. It comes from the the female sturgeon fish. And it’s been a high-end dining staple ever since Cesar Ritz (fancy hotelier) put it on his menus.
July 19 – National Daiquiri Day
National Daiquiri Day happens each year on July 19, when people fill their glasses with this rum-based cocktail. Did you know the daiquiri was likely invented by Cuban miners? An engineer named Jennings Cox supervised a mine in a village named Daiquiri in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. After work, Cox and his colleagues would gather at the local bar. One day Cox mixed Bacardi, sugar, and lime into a glass of ice. Named after the Daiquiri mines, the drink became a popular staple in Havana.
July 19 – National Ice Cream Day
Thanks to President Reagan, we celebrate National Ice Cream Day every third Sunday in July, meaning July 19 this year. Reagan wanted to commemorate a treat enjoyed by over 90 percent of the US population. In 1984, he decreed a day for ice cream and his proclamation actually glorified the dairy industry in America. In fact, Americans still lead the world when it comes to eating this frozen delight: 23 gallons a year to be precise. Reagan also proclaimed July as National Ice Cream month, describing ice cream as ‘‘a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States.’’ Since then, the holiday has sparked world-wide cravings and is traditionally celebrated year after year. Standing in the frozen food aisle trying desperately to make a choice? Or brainstorming how to celebrate this fabulous day? Well, look no further. Inspiration has arrived.
July 20 – National Lollipop Day
Without a doubt, National Lollipop Day on July 20 is a day that children of all ages can celebrate. We’re looking at you, grandparents — relive some childhood memories! People in the Midwest call lollipops suckers but they go by other names as well — lolly, or sticky pop. They come in many flavors but mostly fruit flavors for licking or biting. Lollipops are made of flavored sucrose, water, and corn syrup that are hardened on a stick.
July 21 – National Junk Food Day
Have you ever wished for a day where you can eat absolutely anything you want? Well that day is today. National Junk Food Day is celebrated every year on July 21. Dedicated to the foods we like to snack on, this isn’t your average cheat day. Today, you can eat junk food for every meal. Popularized in the U.S in the 1950s, junk foods are usually, by definition, high in fats, sugars, salt, and calories. But they are also high in deliciousness! Junk food day is the perfect day to treat yourself. On this day, you’re allowed your favorite junk foods without any guilt. So go ahead and add extra cheese on that burger and go for that order of fries. Today you’re allowed!
July 22 – National Hot Dog Day
When we think of summer, hot dogs come to mind almost immediately. It’s just part of the overall experience. A summer day at the amusement park or at a baseball stadium pairs nicely with a hot dog (or tofu dog, for those of you who prefer a meatless version). Hot dogs don’t have to be made with meat, and anyone can enjoy the age old American favorite food any time of year. Sure, hot dogs can be purchased and enjoyed at any time of the year, however on July 22 is absolutely the day we hold them in the highest regard.
July 23 – National Tequila Day
Is there any better way to enjoy some blue agave juice than bottoms up? We can’t think of any, but we can tell you that there’s an entire day dedicated to the stuff. July 24th means National Tequila Day, and National Tequila Day means twenty four consecutive hours, 1440 consecutive minutes, and 86,400 consecutive seconds of honoring good times had with your favorite liquor over salt & lime. Just enjoy those good times responsibly, don’t swig that beautiful blue agave elixir behind the wheel, and do read up on its storied history in Mexico, the broader American Southwest, and beyond.
July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
There are many cities that claim to be the home of the hot fudge sundae, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they’re American cities. Hot fudge sundaes are about as nostalgia-tinged as it gets: they’ve dotted pop culture for decades, further back than their cameo in Full House’s “Gotta Dance” episode, and more recently than in Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video. Hot fudge sundaes have dominated the ice cream landscape for decades now, and on July 25, we celebrate: raise your spoons for National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!
July 25 – National Wine and Cheese Day
One of the most basic, yet classic food-and-drink pairings is wine and cheese. Sipping a tangy red or white between bites of a creamy, nutty cheese on a cracker is one of the most pleasant experiences around. That’s why freelance writer and wine lover Jace Shoemaker-Galloway created National Wine and Cheese Day on July 25.
Now, we’re not talking just any wine and any cheese. Two-buck Chuck and sliced sharp cheddar on a Ritz while watching Netflix is fantastic, but it’s fun to broaden out and socialize. Make this a day to get together with friends, bring out some reds and whites, chiantis, ports, blushes, and champagnes along with Roquefort, Limburger, gorgonzola and mizithra, and have some fun!
July 26 – National Coffee Milkshake Day
On National Coffee Milkshake Day, drink a cool beverage that will really hit the spot. It’s hot, you love ice cream and you can use a caffeinated, sugary boost. To your rescue comes the delicious, coffee milkshake — a product of sheer human culinary ingenuity. National Coffee Milkshake Day encourages you to enjoy a true coffee milkshake mixed with your favorite ice cream and coffee flavors. Discover the taste of summer!
July 27 – National Creme Brûlée Day
In a miraculous stroke of culinary genius, someone thought that topping vanilla custard with a brittle crust of caramelized sugar would taste good. Of course they were wrong — it tasted incredibly delicious! The dessert is best known as Crème Brûlée (“burnt creme” in French) and depending on where you’re from, it’s also known as Crema Catalana and Trinity Burnt Creme. Whatever you like to call this intensely creamy, crunchy and luxurious dish, schedule your day of indulgence on July 27, National Crème Brûlée Day.
July 27 – National Scotch Day
Observed each year on July 27, National Scotch Day celebrates the iconic whisky. In order to be considered scotch, this classy and distinctive spirit must be made in Scotland. It must be fermented from malted barley, aged in oak barrels for at least three years and have an ABV or alcohol content of less than 94.8%. While most scotch is made with barley, water and yeast; other grains can be included. All fermentation additives are excluded, per law. There are five distinct classifications of Scotch whisky including single malt scotch, single grain scotch, blended malt scotch, blended grain scotch and blended scotch. Scotch is often identified by the region where it was produced and each region has its own characteristics that influence taste. Despite scotch being made in Scotland, you can enjoy the spirit anywhere. Kilt not required.
July 28 – National Milk Chocolate Day
Calling all chocolate lovers! National Milk Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on July 28. When solid chocolate is combined with either powdered, liquid or condensed milk; it’s known as milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is the most popular member of the chocolate family and with good reason. It’s creamy, smooth and mostly used in candy bars. It is believed that in the mid-1800s, milk chocolate was first created as a beverage in Germany. The first milk chocolate, in the form of a bar that we all recognize today, was created by Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter while collaborating with Henri Nestlé, the founder of his Nestlé chocolate company. So if you’re a true chocoholic, get ready to celebrate all things milk chocolate!
July 29 – National Chicken Wing Day
Waterfalls of ranch dressing? Check. Gobs of blue cheese? Check. Napkins? Check. An insatiable hunger for the ultimate party food, complete with a willingness to eat far beyond your comfort level? Definitely! Well then, you’re ready to take on National Chicken Wing Day on July 29. Oh, and don’t forget the full bottle of antacids.
Originally relegated to the far corners of the kitchen as material for chicken stock, chicken wings were born when the owners of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo cooked up a midnight snack for their son and his friends. Using only fried wings, butter, and hot sauce, they stumbled on a dish that would change American game day gastronomy forever. So this July 29, make them sweet, spicy or any way you want, but raise a glass and down a few wings to celebrate.
Note: We can thank previous Buffalo mayor, Stan Makowski, for giving us one of the most celebrated food holidays of the summer.
July 29 – National Lasagna Day
You don’t have to be Italian or a fat, orange cartoon cat to celebrate National Lasagna Day on July 29. Tomato sauce, cheeses, meat and vegetables — all separated by wide flat noodles — what’s not to love? Lasagna first showed up in Naples, Italy during the Middle Ages and made it to America in the nineteenth century. Since then, Americans have made it all their own. So this National Lasagna Day, head to your favorite Italian restaurant or pre-heat the oven and make your own.
July 30 – National Cheesecake Day
National Cheesecake Day is the creamiest and yummiest holiday held on July 30 where America samples and indulges in some of the most delicious cheesecakes ever!
Separately, cheese and cake are beloved all over the world. But taken together, they attract a veritable cult following. Cheesecake is thought to have originated in ancient Greece, as evidenced by its earliest mention in Greek physician, Aegimus’, a book on the art of making cheesecakes. Since then, cheesecake has been passed down through the generations and entered into the fabric of numerous cultures.
July 30 – National Chili Dog Day
The last Thursday in July is National Chili Dog Day (July 30)! Making decisions is difficult. Alas, making decisions about what mouthwatering cuisine to satiate your appetite during the sweltering summer months can also be difficult. Do you want chili? Do you want hot dogs? Sometimes life doesn’t have to be so complicated. Sometimes you can have it all. Enter, like a shining beacon from the sky, the Chili Dog. On National Chili Dog Day, we the people celebrate a food that doesn’t make us choose. We celebrate a food that chooses us. We celebrate the chili dog.
July 31 – National Avocado Day
A thought for National Avocado Day: “The avocado is a food without rival among the fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise.”
So said early 20th-century adventurer and U.S. Department of Agriculture botanist, David Fairchild, when he introduced the gorgeous fruits to the U.S. And he was right. Avocados are creamy, delicious, vitamin-heavy symbols of nature offering us a good life at a bargain price. All this, plus their versatile value for your body both inside and out makes avocados well worth celebrating, as we do every July 31 on National Avocado Day.