History of Ice Cream

History of Ice CreamIce cream probably began as snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Alexander the Great, King Solomon and Nero Claudius Caesar were known to have enjoyed this treat. Although the origin of ice cream has been traced back as far as the second century B.C., a specific date is not known and no one inventor has been indisputably credited with its discovery.
The Evolution of Ice Cream
It is thought that the recipe for ice cream evolved from a recipe that was brought back to Italy by Marco Polo when he returned from the Far East over a thousand years later. This recipe closely resembled our current day sherbet. Sometime in the 16th century, ice cream, similar to what we have today, appeared in both Italy and England. However, only royalty and wealthy enjoyed this treat until 1660 when ice cream was made available to the general public at Cafe Procure, the first cafe in Paris.
Ice Cream in America
It took a while before ice cream made its way to the New World. A letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen describes ice cream, and the first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777. President George Washington was particularly fond of ice cream and inventory records from his Mount Vernon estate included two pewter pots used to make ice cream. Both Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were also known to have served ice cream during important presidential events.
This desert continued to be enjoyed mostly by the elite until insulated ice houses were invented in early 1800. Finally, in 1851 Jacob Fusel, a Baltimore milk dealer, began to manufacture and provide ice cream to the public. Technological innovations, such as steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, and motorized delivery vehicles were used to manufacture ice cream soon making ice cream a major industry in America.
David Cleaves 2/4/2009


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