July is also National Ice Cream month! Most people love to
enjoy this treat, especially in the summer, to help chase away the heat, but
have you ever thought about how the ice cream we enjoy today came to be. Well,
we did, and it turns out that ice cream actually has kind of a crazy history.
The origins of ice cream can be traced back as far as 400 BC
in Persia where they made a frozen dish of rose water and vermicelli mixed with
saffron, fruits, and various other flavours. Various other versions of ice
mixed with fruits, nuts, and even pastas/rices have been recorded all over the
middle east, western Europe, and Asia. The Chinese are even credited with
inventing a device to make sorbets and ice cream combining snow and saltpeter
around a container containing syrup which is very much akin to modern ice
Historically, ice cream and sorbet was a dish that was
reserved for royalty. It was even said that in the 1630’s, Charles I of England
was so impressed with the concoction that he offered his own ice cream maker a
lifetime pension in exchange for keeping the formula secret, so that it could
remain a royal prerogative.
The first recipe for modern-day-styled ice cream appeared in
London in 1718 in Mrs. Mary Eales’s
Receipts. Ice cream was brought to the United States by Quaker colonists
who sold it in their confectioner shops. First Lady Dolley Madison was reported
to have served ice cream at her husband, James Madison’s, Inaugural Ball in
1813. Surprisingly, it was actually an African American confectioner by the
name of Augustus Jackson that not only created multiple recipes for ice cream,
but also invented a superior technique for manufacturing the frozen delicacy.
Hope we’ve piqued your interest a bit, maybe even enough to
come up with your own concoction! Just don’t forget to call Sweeney &
Sweeney when you open up your first shop. J For a taste of some
local, home-made goodness, check out Shubert’s on 7th St!