Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iced Cream, the origins

Nothing says summer, quite like the ring from an ice cream truck's little bells. But back in the beginning, there were no trucks. In fact, even wheels were in short supply.

The first recorded evidence of an ice/milk combination food, goes back to the fourth century B.C. More detailed evidence of ice and fruit toppings can be found in Nero's Roman history from the first century A.D. But the most solid evidence of all, is seventh century writings from China, which detail King Tang's personal recipe for ice and milk dishes.

The dessert likely made its way from China with European sailors, who took it home and started a boom that eventually produced sherbets, ices, ice milks and more. While some people tend to thing of it as a 19th century fad, it was actually served in the 1700s in America, by luminaries like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In fact, the very first ice cream parlor in America, opened in New York City, in 1776.

Of course, back then, making it was no treat, even if the outcome was. While there were various technique employed up to the mid 1800s, it was Nancy Johnson, who in 1846 created the same process that is used today, although with modernized equipment. Johnson didn't patent her hand-cranked freezer, but when William Young filed a patent two years later, he named it after her.

The business was up and running. Jacob Fussel of Baltimore built the first large-scale ice cream plant in 1851, and in 1897, Alfred L. Cralled patented the ice cream mold and "scooper", that half-ball shaped utensil for digging deep into the chocolate ripple.

1 comment:

tripzibit said...

Wow, the history of ice-cream. I didn't know about it before. This is great

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