What Is The History Of Ice Cream?

Do you like ice cream? Read here to learn what is the history of ice cream.

Ice cream, the great American treat, is actually much older than most Americans think. In fact, it was first created in ancient Rome, by Emperor Nero. Read this article to find out the fascinating history of ice cream.

The first hint of ice cream came during the Roman Empire with the reign of Emperor Nero. The Emperor sent his slaves to find snow, which was then mixed with honey to form a dessert. He added spices, leaves and fruit to make a very early form of gelato. At this time, sorbets were also being discovered in the East. With the discovery of the Indies, ice cream came to England and Europe. The process of freezing water, ice and salt is the main basis for creating ice cream. This process made its way through France, Italy and Spain, and England, but only in the highest households and courts. English kings were known to have weaknesses for this dessert.

Marco Polo is said to have a large part in the popularization of ice cream. Upon seeing ice cream being made in China, he brought the idea to Europe. Other sources claim that the dish was invented in Italy, by the Medici family. Charles I of England claimed to have invented the dish when he served it during his English reign. He bribed his cook into agreeing not to give out the recipe until his death. While these tales are appealing, it is hard to tell which are true and which are false. It's highly possible that some were made up simply to entice people into buying this cream dessert.



Ice cream came to America with the arrival of several European dignitaries. It first appeared in 1782 in Philadelphia, served by the French to honor an American ambassador. In 1812, Dolly Madison furthered the ice cream craze by serving it at the White House during an inaugural dinner. In fact, the ice-cream maker was invented by an American, Nancy Johnson, in 1843. Being a housewife, she had no recourse to sell her work. She sold the patent to a nearby businessman, who became rich off of the sales of this recipe to various cooking services and cooks in the area. The machine he patented was later given the name of "Johnson" in Nancy Johnson's honor, but not in time for the inventor to realize the popularity of her creation. In 1851, an ice cream plant opened in Baltimore, run by Jacob Fussell of Virginia. He used chips of ice and underground storage areas to keep his ice cream cool and fresh. Later, with the introduction of dry ice in the early 1900's, this method was used to keep ice cream cool.

There are several different kinds of "iced cream" that exist. In Europe, sorbets are very popular, along with gelato, a thicker ice cream with more salt. In America, brands such as Ben and Jerry's and Breyer's have become famous, with less cream and more sweeteners and flavoring. Sherbet can be found around the world, even including places like Africa and Indonesia. Ice cream is a world treat, one with colorful origins.

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