Desserts | Ice Cream and ...
Thanks to mass
production, ice cream is widely available in most parts of the
world. Ice cream can be purchased in large tubs and squrounds
from supermarkets/grocery stores, in smaller quantities from ice
cream shops, convenience
stores, and milk
bars, and in individual servings from small carts or vans at
Some ice cream distributors sell ice cream products
door-to-door from traveling refrigerated vans or carts, often
equipped with speakers playing a children's music tune. On the
Mediterranean coast of Turkey,
ice cream is sometimes sold to beachgoers from small powerboats
equipped with chest freezers.
Precursors of ice cream
People living in sufficiently cold climates have probably always
taken advantage of snow and ice by flavoring them with fruit and
honey. The ancients had saved ice for cold foods for thousands of
has the earliest icehouses in existence, 4,000 years old, beside the
River, where the wealthy stored items to keep them cold.
had ice shipped to them. In the 5th century BC, ancient Greeks
sold snow cones mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens.
(37-68) had ice brought from the mountains and combined with fruit
toppings. Today's ice treats likely originated with these early ice
Modern ice cream
In the 18th century cream, milk, and egg yolks began to feature in
the recipes of previously dairy-free flavored ices, resulting in ice
cream in the modern sense of the word. The 1751 edition of The
Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy by Hanna Glasse features a
recipe for raspberry cream ice. 1768 saw the publication of L'Art
de Bien Faire les Glaces d'Office by M. Emy, a cookbook devoted
entirely to recipes for flavored ices and ice cream.
Ice cream was introduced to the United States by colonists who
brought their ice cream recipes with them. Confectioners, many of
whom were Frenchmen, sold ice cream at their shops in New York and
other cities during the colonial era. Ben
Washington, and Thomas
Jefferson were known to have regularly eaten and served ice
Madison is also closely associated with the early history of ice
cream in the United States.
After the 1830s when ice-making machines became available, ice
cream gradually became more widely available. In 1843, Nancy Johnson
invented the first small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer. This
was followed by the invention of the ice
cream soda, probably invented by Robert Green in 1874, although
there is no conclusive evidence to prove his claim.
cream sundae originated in the late 19th century. Several men
claimed to have created the first sundae, but there is no credible
evidence to back up any of their stories. Some versions say that the
sundae was invented to circumvent blue
laws, which forbade serving sodas on Sunday. Both the ice
cream cone and banana
split became popular in the first years of the 20th century.
The history of ice cream in the 20th century is one of great
change, and increases in availability and popularity. In the United
States in the early 20th century, the ice
cream soda was a popular treat at the soda
shop, the soda fountain, and the ice cream parlor. During the
era the soda fountain to some extent replace the now illegal alcohol
establishments, including bars
Ice cream became popular throughout the world in the second half
of the 20th century after cheap refrigeration
became common, and wages became high enough in developed countries
to indulge in such minor luxuries. There was an explosion of ice
cream stores and of flavors and types. Vendors often competed on the
basis of variety. Howard
Johnson's restaurants advertised "a world of 28
made its 31 flavors ("one for every day of the month") the
cornerstone of its marketing strategy. The company now boasts that
it has developed over 1000 varieties.
One important development in the 20th century was the
introduction of soft ice cream. A chemical research team in Britain
(of which a young Margaret
Thatcher was a member) discovered a method of doubling the
amount of air in ice cream, which allowed manufacturers to use less
of the actual ingredients, thereby reducing costs. This ice cream
was also very popular amongst consumers who preferred the lighter
texture, and most major ice cream brands now use this manufacturing
process. It also made possible the soft ice cream machine in which a
cone is filled beneath a spigot on order.
The 1980s saw a return of the older, thicker, ice creams being
sold as "premium" varieties. Ben
and Jerry's, Beechdean,
fall into this category.
Other frozen desserts
cones, made from balls of crushed ice topped with sweet syrup
served in a paper cone, are consumed in many parts of the world. The
most common places to find snow cones in the United States are at amusement
A popular springtime treat in maple-growing
areas is maple toffee,
where boiled maple
syrup is poured over fresh snow congealing in a toffee-like
mass, and then eaten from a wooden stick used to pick it up from the
Ice creams and sorbets are frozen while being stirred or
agitated, resulting in a light texture. Ice
pops are quiescently frozen - frozen at rest without stirring.