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July 19: National Daiquiri Day. How is a daiquiri different from a colada? Get schooled on the background of this Cuban rum punch here. And then consider why cocktail snobs who poo-poo frozen daiquiris are missing out.
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July 23: National Tequila Day. Are we living in a golden age of tequila appreciation? Cocktail culture has moved way beyond the big bottle of Cuervo that you dust off for margarita parties. Get your tequila on with our list of non-margarita cocktails for summer refreshment. And then make a margarita. Because why not?
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July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day. So-called chocolate purists have long knocked milk chocolate as a chocolate for lightweights. Guess what? Great milk chocolate is about both great milk and great chocolate. And perfectly okay milk chocolate (I'm lookin' at you, Hershey's) is what makes s'mores so delectable. Milk chocolate was not even possible until Henri Nestle came up with the process of making powdered milk, but it was Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter who made the first milk chocolate bar in 1879. So think of those trailblazers when you crack open a bar of the good stuff (I'm partial to Theo's Pure 45%).
Lee McCoy CC BY ND
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July 29: National Lasagna Day. Quick, go tell Garfield! Did you know the reigning most popular recipe on AllRecipes.com is "World's Best Lasagna"? (As of this writing, it has 9,896 user reviews.) It's held that distinction for over a decade, and probably not because it's a life-changing recipe, but because people like lasagna. It's a showstopper you can assemble ahead of time, and therefore ideally suited for entertaining. It's also a pain in the ass to make, in my opinion. Crank up your ovens tonight and sweat it out, or go to the local Italian joint and make them do the hard work.
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July 30: National Cheesecake Day. Pastries with made with sweetened cheese custard filllings exist in virtually every cuisine that digs dairy products, so versions of cheesecake have existed for centuries. American-style cream cheese was developed by William Lawrence of the Phenix Cheese Company of New York and sold under the name "Star Brand", which was later changed to "Philadelphia". The rest is cheesecake history.
stu_spivack CC BY-SA
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July 31: Cotton Candy Day. It's called "candy floss" in the U.K. and Canada, and "fairy floss" in Australia. Cotton candy finds its origins in spun sugar, which is simply dipping the tines of a fork or decapitated whisk in melted sugar and literally spinning the resulting spiderwebby strands into a sticky mess of sweetness. A cotton candy machine, which creates a much finer, puffier product, was introduced in 1897 and introduced to the public at large at the 1904 World's Fair.
Steven Depolo CC BY