The History of Ice Cream

Ice cream is a popular refreshment among Modern Americans, but did you know that even our most distant ancestors enjoyed a delectable frozen treat from time to time? Here is a quick history of this versatile dessert throughout the years.

While there is no specific date or inventor we can thank for ice cream, Alexander the Great was known to be one of the first leaders to jazz up his dessert. He was known to use honey and nectar to sweeten snow and ice.

Then, 1,000 years later in the 13th century, explorer Marco Polo came back to Italy from the Far East with the world’s first recipe for sherbert. However, this dessert was only for the rich nobility, as ice cream wasn’t made available to the general public until the year 1660. This is when a Sicilian hero named Procopio introduced a recipe that blended milk, cream, butter, and eggs to his customers at Cafe Procope, which was the very first cafe in Paris.

Fast forward about 80 years, when ice cream was first introduced to the American colonies in 1744. However, ice cream manufacturing wasn’t a sustainable industry until insulated ice houses came to be around 1880. So when did ice cream suddenly become the favorite food it is today?

At the end of World War II, soldiers returning home brought a taste for ice cream into the American diet. In fact, in 1946 Americans were consuming 20 quarts of ice cream per person, and the classic 1950s soda shoppe served up hamburgers and milkshakes.

Now, the U.S. produces more than 1.5 million gallons of ice cream every year. Who knew it would get this big from such humble beginnings?

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