An ice cream cone is a pastry that has been wrapped or molded into a cone or cup shape and used as an edible container for holding ice cream. (A description like that takes all the fun out of it, doesn't it?). The nice thing about eating ice cream out of a cone is that you don't need any utensils, and when you're finished, all the evidence of your snacking is gone. The only drawback is that it can be messy if the ice cream starts to melt. There are numerous types of ice cream cones, but some of the most popular include the waffle cone, sugar cone, and wafer cone.

History of the Cone

The first known ice cream cone was produced in New York City by the Italian immigrant, Italo Marchiony, in 1896. Several years later he was granted U.S. Patent #746971 for his product that was "like a waffle iron and producing several small pastry cups with sloping sides".

However, it was the St. Louis World's Fair (a.k.a., Louisiana Purchase Exposition) in 19041 where the treat became popular. In fact, it was necessity (and a little supply and demand) rather than patent infringement that caused the "invention" in this year. A Syrian baker named Ernest M. Hamwi began rolling up some of his Zalabia pastries and selling them to an ice cream vendor after the man started running out of bowls. At the same fair, a man began rolling up waffles into a cornucopia shape and putting ice cream in them. All told, there were over 50 vendors selling ice cream at that fair, and dozens more selling waffles and other pastries. Several others claim the invention for themselves, but it soon became known as the "World's Fair Cornucopia". The delicious treat quickly caught on and it was later known simply as the ice cream cone.

1 It was this World's Fair that also claims the invention of the hot dog bun and the hamburger (or again, at least making them popular).

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