Ice cream is an undeniably popular refreshment, savored by Americans and beyond. But did you know that even our most distant ancestors enjoyed a delectable frozen treat from time to time? Let's take a journey through the fascinating history of this versatile dessert.
There's no specific date or inventor we can thank for ice cream. However, Alexander the Great was known to be one of the first leaders to jazz up his dessert. He would sweeten snow and ice with honey and nectar.
Marco Polo and Sherbet
Fast forward about 1,000 years to the 13th century, when explorer Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with the world's first recipe for sherbet. However, this icy delight was reserved for the rich nobility, as ice cream wasn't made available to the general public until 1660.
The First Ice Cream Café
In 1660, a Sicilian hero named Procopio introduced a recipe that blended milk, cream, butter, and eggs to his customers at Café Procope, which was the very first café in Paris.
Ice Cream in America
Ice cream made its way to the American colonies around 1744. However, ice cream manufacturing didn't become a sustainable industry until insulated ice houses were invented around 1880.
The Post-War Boom
At the end of World War II, soldiers returning home brought a taste for ice cream into the American diet. In 1946, Americans consumed 20 quarts of ice cream per person! The classic 1950s soda shoppe served up hamburgers and milkshakes, further popularizing the frozen treat.
Modern Ice Cream
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? To create and serve your very own ice cream masterpieces, check out our extensive range of ice cream supplies and frozen yogurt supplies.
- Ten Facts About Ice Cream You Didn't Know Before
- The Sweet, Creamy, Dreamy History of Ice Cream
- Sweet Science: Make Your Own Ice Cream
- 5 Interesting Tidbits About Ice Cream: America's Favorite Dessert
- A Sweet History of Ice Cream
- The True Wonders of Vanilla Ice Cream
- The History of the Most Common Ice Cream Flavors
- A Short History of Frozen Yogurt: How Did Your Favorite Frozen Treat Get to You?
- The Sweet, Sweet History of Gelato
- Ice Cream Preferences in the U.S.
- Ice Cream Around the World
- The Geography of Ice Cream
- The Divine and Delicious Art of Gelato
- Fun Facts About Ice Cream That Will Surprise You
- Ice Cream, Gelato, Gelati, and Custard: What's the Difference?
- Ice Cream Across the Nation: 4 Shops You Need to Visit in New York State
- Black History Month: The Father of Ice Cream