Ice Cream

The History of Ice Cream

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Ice cream in some version has been around for centuries. The churned, sweetened, creamy frozen treat we know and love started to evolve quickly after 1846 when the first hand-cranked ice cream freezer was invented in the United States. In 1851, the first large-scale ice cream manufacturer opened in Baltimore, Maryland. Before that, however, frozen milk or cream desserts were enjoyed as far back as Roman banquets where Emperor Nero reportedly served cream frozen in snow - between 54 and 68 A.D!

Ice cream evolved from chilled wines and other beverages. Initially it was only enjoyed by the very wealthy as ice itself was difficult to obtain and, of course, to store!

Legend has it that sweet, flavoured ice cream evolved in France and Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries from popular fruit ices (sorbets). In the late 1700s, Thomas Jefferson learned to make ice cream while in France and brought the recipes of his French chef with him back to Monticello along with a (likely rustic) sorbetière to make his own ice cream in America.

Today, ice cream can be found in almost every restaurant and corner store, and there are many, many varieties at supermarkets and even specialty shops dedicated solely to this wonderful treat! You can even make ice cream at home with readily available ice cream makers! It’s time to explore the wonderful world of ice cream.

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