History of ice Cream

HeadLine HeadLine No one is really sure who invented ice cream but we know it's been around for many centuries.

Before people learned how to make ice cream they learned to make something called "ices" which were basically chilled fruit juices or wines. Alexander the Great was known to enjoy ices as long ago as 4 B.C. And the Roman emperor Nero sent his servants into the mountains in the first century A.D. to gather snow and ice to make ices. Some historians think the Chinese invented ice cream when they began adding snow to a soft milk and rice mixture about 4000 years ago. When Marco Polo returned to Italy from his journeys in the Far East in 1295, he brought back recipes for many flavors of ices and reported that the Chinese had been eating them for thousands of years. Italian cooks then started developing recipes for both water and milk ices. Some people think it was actually Marco Polo who first added milk to these ices, creating an early form of ice cream. Recipes for ices spread from Italy to France, Germany and England. In 1533, when Catherine de Medici married the Duke of Orleans, she had something very similar to ice cream served to the French nobility. Supposedly, her Italian chefs served 34 different flavors, one on each day of her wedding celebration. French chefs soon began making ices and shaping them into spheres before serving them, something that is still done today in ice cream shops around the world. In the 1560's a Spanish doctor named Blasius Villafranca rediscovered the process of sprinkling a mineral called saltpeter on ice and snow to freeze a mixture of cream, fruit and spices. This led to the creation of the first ice cream freezer. It was much simpler than the ice cream freezers we have today. Basically it was two metal bowls with salted, crushed ice placed between them. The ingredients were placed in the smaller bowl and then beaten together and allowed to freeze. When frozen desserts finally made their way to England in the mid seventeenth century, King Charles like them so much that he made it illegal for them to be served anyplace other than the royal court. After King Charles died his chefs were able to share the recipes with others, but for many years ices were only enjoyed by the nobility. Then, in 1670 a chef from Polermo started a cafe in Paris where he served ices and sherberts to anyone who wanted to buy them. They became so popular that many other cafes were soon doing the same thing. The cafes started adding more and more cream to the ices and were soon serving something very similar to the ice cream we eat today. They called the cold treats "milk ice", "cream ice" and even "butter ice".

   It wasn't until the colonists in North America started eating ices that it started being called ice cream. At first it was called "iced cream", similar to the way we say "iced tea" or "iced coffee", but eventually the term "ice cream" took hold. By the time the Revolutionary War started, ice cream shops were beginning to appear. George Washington really liked ice cream and supposedly bought hundreds of dollars worth in a single summer. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the third and fourth Presidents of the United States, were also very fond of ice cream. Dolly Madison, James Madison's wife served strawberry ice cream at the White House when her husband was re-elected. Many years later, in 1846, a lady named Nancy Johnson invented the hand crank ice cream freezer. This made it much easier for people to make ice cream at home. The first ice cream factory was built in Baltimore six years later, in 1851, by a man named Jacob Fussell. Mr. Fussell sold milk for a living and was trying to find something to do with all the leftover cream he had. He decided to make ice cream out of it. The ice cream sold so well that he quit selling milk and began using his entire dairy to make ice cream. Then he started more ice cream factories in Washington, Boston and New York. Jacob Fussell is now considered the father of the ice cream industry.

   It was also during the 1800's that ice cream sodas and milkshakes were invented. The ice cream sundae was created in Two Rivers Wisconsin in 1881 by an ice cream shop owner named Ed Berners. It cost five cents and was only served on Sundays. For many years after the first ice cream factory was built, everyone ate ice cream out of cups and bowls. No one had even heard of an ice cream cone because it hadn't been invented. People didn't start using ice cream cones until the early part of the twentieth century. For many years ice cream was made one batch at a time. Then, in 1925, Clarence Vogt of Louisville, Kentucky invented something called a continuous freezer. This device made ice cream much faster than it had ever been made before. Soon, ice cream parlors were springing up everywhere. Ice cream quickly became more popular than all other desserts combined. On average, Americans eat about 15 quarts of ice cream each year. That's about 15 billion scoops. Alaskans eat more ice cream per person than people in any other state in the country. They eat about 24 quarts per person each year. The United States produces and consumes more ice cream than any other country, making it the Ice Cream Capitol of the World. The annual production of ice cream in the U.S is more than 900 million gallons. Vanilla is the most popular flavor. About one third of all the ice cream sold in the U.S. is vanilla. Because ice cream is so popular in the United States, in 1984 the President declared July the National Ice Cream Month and the second Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.

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