The History of Ice Cream
According to legend, the first century Roman emperor Nero often sent slaves to mountains in the region to collect snow and ice to be flavored and eaten. The flavored concoctions were likely the ancestors of today's frozen dessert.
The first written mention of ice cream in the United States is contained in a letter dating back to the 1700's. The letter describes the strawberry ice cream dessert at a dinner party thrown by one of the governors of Maryland. George Washington was said to be an ice cream lover, and consumed vast amounts of it - perhaps resulting in his wooden teeth.
The first ice cream parlor in this country was opened in New York City in 1776. The hand-cranked ice cream freezer was invented in 1845, which opened up the market for homemade ice cream. As a welcome to America, immigrants at Ellis Island were often fed ice cream as part of their first meal in the country. Ice cream novelties such as popsicles and ice cream bars were invented in the 1920s.
The ice cream cone was introduced at the 1904 World's Fair in Saint Louis. The cone was invented, however, by an ice cream vendor from New York City, who apparently created the cone in 1896 to stop customers from stealing his serving dishes. He patented the ice cream cone in 1903 the year before the World's fair where it was made famous.
President Ronald Reagan in 1984, declared July as "National Ice Cream Month" because he believed it to be "nutritious and wholesome". He also suggested that patriotic Americans should engage in "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Ice Cream Statistics
In the consumption department, America holds the first place in ice cream eaten per capita, and Australia in second place. In 1924, the average American ate eight pints a year, which jumped to 48 pints per year by 1997. The biggest area of ice-cream consumption in America is unexpectedly in a state with a colder climate: Omaha, Nebraska.
The most popular US ice cream flavor is vanilla at about one fourth of all sales, with chocolate a distant second at around a tenth. Twenty percent of ice cream eaters share with their pets.
Ice Cream facts
A major component of ice cream is air. Without air, the texture of ice cream would be too hard to eat. This can be seen by examining the consistency of ice cream that has been partially melted and refrozen.
Ice cream comes in a multitude of flavors. Some of the stranger flavors ever sold include white pepper, jalapeno, pumpkin, avocado, licorice, garlic, and even dill pickle ice cream which was meant to be sold to pregnant women! (This last item apparently didn't go over well.)
The biggest ice cream sundae according to the Guinness Book of World Records was made in Alberta, Canada in 1988, and weighed nearly 55,000 pounds (25,000 kilograms). Also in 1988, a baking company and a sheet-metal firm in Iowa made the world's largest ice cream sandwich which weighed nearly 2,500 pounds (1,130 kilograms). In 1999, Baskin-Robbins made an ice cream cake in the United Arab Emirates that weighed just under 9,000 pounds (4,100 kilograms).