Ice creams are usually made with a dairy base, and flavored in different ways. The end result is a creamy, cold sweet treat that people of all ages enjoy, no matter the time of day. While we’re all familiar with this delicious cold treat, one can wonder where it all began. Read on to find out where it began and its spread in popularity across the world.
Where did it begin?
“Ice cream” was seen in China in 618-97AD by King Tang of Shang. He had ice men help make a dish made of buffalo milk, flour, and camphor. While it wasn’t termed “ice cream”, this ice cream type dish was invented in China about 200 BC with a mixture of milk and rice, frozen by packing it into the snow.
In another account, Mongolian horsemen may have invented ice cream when they carried cream in containers on horseback, crossing the winter Gobi dessert. The temperature paired with the movement of the horse created the ice cream.
Later, it was said that Roman emperors sent slaves to collect fresh snow from mountain tops. The snow was flavored and served, as a form of ice cream. Around the mid-1200s to early 1300s, explorer Marco Polo was believed to have seen ice cream being made on his trip to China. He later introduced this cold treat to Italy.
In France in 1533, it was said that Italian Catherine de Medici introduced similar frozen treats when she became the wife of Henry II. Another recording of ice cream was from the King of England, Charles I. It was said that he paid his chef yearly to keep his ice cream recipe a secret.
How did it become popular?
So far, the ice cream treat was exclusive to royals, however, in the 1660s, it was made available to the public. This was when Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe of milk, cream, butter, and eggs, and served this cold treat in Paris’ first cafe, Cafe Procope.
Eventually, the cold, sweet treat expanded to different variations across the world from rolled ice cream to recipe variations to fit the dietary requirements of each individual. This versatile dessert has become a favorite of many and continues to be a beloved dessert across the world. It is common to find and not that difficult to recreate at home if you have the right ingredients and a freezer.