By La Conner Ice Cream Tower
While many of us enjoy ice cream year round, everyone loves a scoop in summer. After all, there is nothing like tasty ice cream to keep us cool when temperatures rise!
The History Of Ice Cream
You may not know, ice cream first appeared in ancient Persia, about 2500 years ago. Back in those days, ice cream wasn’t much more than sweetened water that was then iced and ground into tiny pieces. During this period, ice cream was served with some fruits and toppings.
Ice cream continued to be passed through the different ancient empires. It was common to see both Roman and Greek royalty and nobility enjoying tasty ice creams. After all, these were the only people who had the money to fund ice cream production. However, when the Roman empire fell, ice cream fell with it. In fact, the only ice cream reference that we can find is only about 1,000 years later, during Renaissance Italy (13th and 14th centuries).
During this period, Italy was an important trade center between the Middle East and Asia and Europe and this is when ice cream began to appear once again. It is important to note that the expansion through Italy and then through the rest of European countries wasn’t easy even though there were some new and innovative recipes- it didn’t catch on quickly.
It was only back in 1533 when the Italian noblewoman Catherine de’Medici went to France to marry Duke de Orleans (future king of France) that she introduced ice cream to nobles. Since everyone enjoyed it, the production of ice cream started as never before. The goal was not only to spread the word about ice cream in Europe but also in America.
Just a few decades after the introduction of ice cream in Europe, street vendors in North America started selling ice cream. At that time, there was a main problem: refrigeration.
Only after the industrial revolution and around 1926 is that this problem was solved. This was when ice cream was finally able to be produced in large quantities which reduced its selling price drastically.
While ice cream was always a source of inspiration to produce new flavors, the reality is that this expansion only occurs after World War II. This is when companies start using artificial flavors and start offering many different flavors at accessible prices.
Today, ice cream is known all over the world but the United States continues to be the largest consumer.
Interesting Facts About Ice Cream
- By the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo introduced milk-based ice cream to Europe.
- 90% of American households eat ice cream.
- The United States is not only the larger producer as the largest consumer of ice cream in the world.
- The most popular ice cream flavors continue to be vanilla and chocolate. However, there are many different flavors. In Merida, Venezuela, there is an ice cream shop that serves 860 different ice cream flavors.
- The most famous types of ice cream are cone, stick, sorbet, Neapolitan, and gelato.