It’s hard to imagine a summer without ice cream, and the July heat makes it an even more enticing treat. Americans consume an average of 23 pounds of ice cream per year and regular ice cream is the most popular of the frozen desserts. American manufacturers now produce over 6 billion pounds of ice cream annually. Whether you are a fan of plain vanilla or more unusual flavors, here are seven fun facts about ice cream you can share with your friends over a cone.
1. Though the origins of ice cream are unknown, we do
know that it has existed in some form since ancient Roman times. Alexander the
Great enjoyed snow flavored with honey and nectar, and the emperor Nero sent
runners to the mountains to gather snow that he ate flavored with fruit and
2. Some historians believe that Tang Dynasty emperors
(618-907 AD) of China were the first to eat a frozen milk concoction. It was
made with cow, goat, or buffalo milk mixed with flour and camphor. They chilled
it by placing it in metal tubes and lowering it into ice pools. Its flavor
resembled an evergreen tree.
3. During the Middle Ages, people in south and west
Asia drank an icy drink flavored with cherry, quince, or pomegranate. They used
the Persian word “sharbat” for it which became “sherbet” in English. This
dessert was similar to sorbets or granitas served around the world today.
4. Marco Polo brought back many treasures from his
travels in the far East. One romantic story says that they included a recipe
for a delicious treat resembling sherbet, which we know was a popular
concoction. Whether he brought it or the recipe traveled to Italy by other
means, people in Europe had reason to celebrate, because it is believed
Italians developed ice cream in the 16th century.
5. Ice cream was originally just for royals in Europe.
Charles I of England served “cream ice” at his table, and Catherine de Medici
brought ice cream to France when she married Henry II in 1553. Ice cream first
became available to the public in France in the late 1600’s when Sicilian chef
Procopio Cuto began selling a concoction of milk, cream, butter, and eggs,
Italian gelato, at his Paris Café Procope.
6. Ice cream was first recorded in the United States
in 1744, and an advertisement in the New York Gazette in 1777 announced that
ice cream was available from confectioner Philip Lenzi. Records also show that
George Washington bought almost $200 worth of ice cream from a New York
merchant in the summer of 1790.
7. Although many say ice cream cones were invented by
accident, that’s not the case. Ice cream cones were invented in 1896 by Italo
Marchiony, a resident of Hoboken, NJ, who sold lemon ices on Wall Street. He received
his patent in 1903. He and other lemon ice vendors had been serving their
treats in glass bowls, which the customers were supposed to give back to them,
but they often disappeared or were broken. At the 1904 Louisiana Purchase
Exposition in St. Louis, Marchiony couldn’t keep up with the demand for ice
cream and cones, too, so he turned to Syrian waffle vendor Ernest Hamwi to help
him out. This collaboration made ice cream cones famous.
No matter which culture originated what we now know as
ice cream, clearly, it has been popular around the world for a long time. For a
healthy twist on your favorite dessert, include Aronia berries. If you are
making your own ice cream, you can flavor it with Superberries Aroniaberry
concentrate, or blend it into malts or shakes. You can also mix frozen Aroniaberries
into your favorite flavor to kick it up a notch. Aronia berry sauce is also
delicious on a sundae. The recipe is available at https://www.superberries.com/aroniaberry-dessert-sauce