A History of Ice Cream, and The First Flavor Ever Made!

We all know ice cream is delicious (is there anyone who doesn’t like ice cream? ), but did you realize it has a fascinating history? Frozen sweets have been around apparently forever, dating back to the time of Alexander the Great, who ate snow or ice laced with honey and nectar. While historians debate the exact origins of ice cream as we know it today, the first known mention of the words “ice” and “cream” came from a feast for King Charles II of England (it is thought that Catherine de’ Medici, Italian duchess and wife of Henry II of France, brought flavored sorbet recipes from Italy to France in 1533).

According to Gizmodo, at his feasts, King Charles would frequently serve a sweet dessert known as “Cream Ice,” which was comparable to the recipe we know and love today. The recipe was kept a royal secret by Charles, but it became public when Grace Countess Granville wrote it down, with instructions to add “orange flower water” to the cream. That indicates orange blossom was the very first flavor!

In the 18th century, ice cream made its way to the New World. On May 12, 1777, the first advertising for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette. President George Washington allegedly spent $200 on ice cream in the summer of 1790! The practice of creating ice cream with a hand-cranked ice cream maker dates back to 1843 when Nancy Johnson got the first U.S. patent for these machines.

While many of us learned how to make ice cream in science class, the process is actually quite interesting! The tasty components are placed in the little inner dish, which is surrounded by ice and a rock salt mixture. While the user churns the cream to obtain a delightful consistency, the rock salt causes the ice to absorb the heat from the components (which freezes the cream).

Ice cream soda was all the rage in 1874. Soda fountains and soda jerks would hand out sweets as rapidly as they could be consumed! Ice cream was eventually everywhere! In the twentieth century, soda shops, ice cream parlors, and soda fountains were popular hangouts, offering a wide range of flavors and styles.

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