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Ice Cream History

The invention of ice cream

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Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Sherbet

© 2014 Getty Images, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Ice Cream History

Ice cream dates back in print to 1744, when Thomas Black of Virginia extolled its virtues after sampling it as a guest of Governor Thomas Bladen of Annapolis, Maryland. Yet it dates back much farther in history.

After a visit to the Orient, Marco Polo returned with a recipe for a milk-based frozen concoction which was basically a mixture of milk and snow.

The first advertisement for ice cream in America appeared in the New York Gazette in 1777 by confectioner Philip Lenzi. The invention of ice cream cones is yet another story with various inventors claiming rights to the original idea.

Making ice cream before the advent of electricity was no small feat. It required arduous labor, beating cream in a pewter pot within a larger pot of salt and ice. Many current ice cream machines are based on this timeworn but successful method.

By the 1780's, frozen desserts were so popular that rudimentary ice cream makers were already on the market. It is said that First Lady Dolley Madison truly popularized ice cream by making it a frequent offering at the White House from 1809 to 1817.

When ice production became common, the popularity of ice cream skyrocketed with its availability to the masses.

The home hand-crank machine was invented by Nancy Johnson in 1846 but patented by William G. Young in 1848. An industry was born, moving on from basic ice cream to ice cream on a stick, frozen yogurt, bon-bons, and even tofu ice creams.

The top four most popular flavors of ice cream are: vanilla, chocolate, neapolitan, and nut flavors.

More About Ice Cream and Ice Cream Recipes

Ice Cream Tips and Hints
Sherbet, Sorbet, and Other Frozen Desserts
Ice Cream History
Ice Cream Recipes
Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Sherbet Photo © 2014 Getty Images, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

The Ultimate Ice Cream Book
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever
Williams-Sonoma : Ice Cream
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