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The History Of Ice Cream

It seems the Chinese were among the first cultures to experiment with frozen desserts. They mixed snow with sweet syrups, and this knowledge was taken to Venice, Italy, by visiting Arab traders. More primitive forms of ice cream have been floating around for hundreds of years. Emperors of the Roman Empire would have their servants travel into the mountains to get fresh mountain snow to mix with fresh fruit and other sweet ingredients.

One of the first recorded appearances of ice cream was in 1782 in Philadelphia; at the time it was called “iced cream.” Ice cream as we know it (using a salt/ice mixture to make a smooth, creamy dessert) was perfected in Italy in the late 1500s. Ice cream was originally a luxury for very wealthy and important people. Legend has it that one summer, George Washington spent $200 (about $2,200 today) on ice cream alone.

The French had their turn in ice-cream development as well and are noted as the inventors of the ice-cream machine. Since then, many variations on the formula have been tried, as well as the addition of many toppings. The ice-cream soda, banana split, and Chipwich are all part of a long and sweet history.

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