All About Ice Cream
It’s probably no surprise to you that July is National Ice Cream Month, in the summer an ice cream is the perfect cool treat to help you beat the heat, whether you’re a sorbet snob or jonesin’ for a gelato - but do you know the inside scoop on how this cold confection became a favorite dessert around globe? Find out All About Ice Cream!
The Cold Not-So-Hard Facts
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan declared every third Sunday of July to be National Ice Cream Day and the whole month of July as National Ice Cream Month, but the history of this dessert is older than America itself, ice cream goes all the way back to Ancient civilizations, and there is a lot of debate between ice cream historians about who got there first!
The beginning of ice cream can be traced all the way back to 400 BC when the Ancient Persians would pour grape juice concentrate over ice as a sweet to treat to cool off. They later added different flavors like mango and rose water. Snow would be collected from mountain tops and stored in underground chambers specifically for this cause. They weren’t the only ones trying to chill out, the existence of a frozen rice and milk dessert in China has been documented from 200 BC and the Ancient Roman Emperor Nero is said to have loved a fruit topped snow-based dessert. There is some debate over who had the closest thing to what we now call ice cream - for example in the 10th century the Arabs invented a dessert in which they combined milk, ice and sugar with rosewater, dried fruits and nuts, however the Chinese were the first to invent a machine that combined the flavors into a creamy state and when the famous Italian explorer Marco Polo visited China, he brought the ice cream technology home to Italy and...voila! Gelato!
Ice cream was introduced in America when Quaker colonists brought their recipes with them to the new world. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all known historical ice cream lovers.
Ice Cream Fun Facts!
- Before the invention of fridges ice cream was considered a luxury in the United States, ice was cut from lakes and ponds and stored in ice houses and holes underground to keep it cold.
- Several food vendors at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis claim to have invented the ice cream cone, using folded waffles when their cups had run out!
- Famous ice cream makers Baskin Robbins boasted 31 flavors – one for each day of the month. They now claim to have over 1000.
- Sorbet is like ice cream but contains no milk.
- Gelato also has less cream or milk fat than ice cream.
- Philadelphia native Nancy Johnson patented the first hand crank churn to make ice cream in 1843, the churn was much faster and produced creamier ice cream than using ice in a bowl, as people had done before.
- Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was part of the team that first invented the method of making soft serve ice cream.
- Buffalo, Two Rivers, Ithaca and Evanston all claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae.
Did You Know...
Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in The United States, but chocolate is a close second!
Have Your Say
What’s your fave flavor of ice cream? Let us know in the comments section below.