History of Ice Cream

history of ice cream

Letís Talk About Ice Cream

Ice cream is probably one of the most recognisable and popular desserts. Many people including children enjoy eating this sweetened frozen delight. Ice cream has been around for centuries and has undergone many changes since in terms of the mixture and ingredients and how it is being prepared. There is a wide selection of ice cream flavours to choose from so there is definitely an ice cream flavour for everyone. The history of ice cream is unclear but there are many points in history where people enjoyed this frozen delight.

Let us take a closer look at the history of ice cream.

The history of ice cream could be traced as far back as the second century B.C. However, the date of which ice cream was first introduced and who came up with the idea of ice cream are still unknown. But there are many notable people who might have contributed to the history of ice cream.

It has been known that Alexander the Great enjoyed ice flavoured honey and nectar. The Roman emperor Nero sent his slaves into the snowy mountains to fetch snow to mix with fruits, nectar, honey and juices.

The European explorer Marco Polo who travelled in the Far East returned to Italy with a recipe of a dessert that resembled a sherbet.

Charles I was said to have enjoyed a frozen dessert called Cream Ice regularly at his table in the 17th century.

When Catherine de Medici became the wife of Henry II of France, she introduced a frozen dessert resembling an early recipe of ice cream to the French. However it was not until 1660 that ice cream became available to the public for consumption.

The earliest version of ice-cream like food appeared in China in 200 B.C. This food was a mixture of milk and rice frozen by packing into snow.

The first recipe for flavoured ices appeared in France in 1674 in Nicholas Lemery’s recipe book while the first ice cream recipe did not appear in England until the 18 century.

By the mid 18 century, ice cream became widely available to ordinary people and inexpensive because of its rising popularity. Ice cream stands had popped up in different parts of Europe.

The popularity of ice cream continued to rise in the 20th century and during the 2nd half of the 20the century, ice cream became popular throughout the world when cheap refrigeration became more common. Ice cream shops and stores were opened in many parts of the world and ice cream flavours were expanded.

In the 1930’s soft ice cream was accidentally invented by Tom Carvel when he started selling his melting ice cream which sold out in 2 days much to his surprise. He concluded that soft ice cream and a fixed location were good business ideas. And with technological innovations, various machines, preparation techniques, food additives and ingredients made their way into ice cream making.

Nowadays, we enjoy a wide variety of ice creams. There’s soft serve or soft ice cream and there are the premium ice creams which are thicker than the usual ice cream.


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