It’s Peak Summertime, So What Better Time Than Now To Learn About The History of Ice Cream?

Alena Ozerova - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

It is peak summertime, and I would hope that by now, you’ve treated yourself to a cup, cone, pint, or scoop of your favorite ice cream.

If not, you really should get on that. But before you make an ice cream run, take a moment to learn about its origins in America.

While it’s unclear who first invented ice cream, it’s believed that the first makers of the cold confection were emperors of the Tang Dynasty in the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries. Countries worldwide have various accounts of those who first worked with ice cream.

The first versions of ice cream were far from the types of ice cream we know and love today. Back then, because modern-day freezers weren’t around, people had to get inventive with flavoring ice and snow from the ground.

As ice treats in Europe evolved into sorbet and eventually ice cream made with dairy, people liked experimenting with savory flavors like cheese and asparagus.

Ice cream started popping up in America in the 1700s and became especially popular when George Washington fell in love with it in the 1770s. Washington first tried ice cream at a dinner held by Norborne Berkeley, the royal governor of Virginia. Soon after, he began serving it at state events and had an elaborate ice cream station in his kitchen at his Mount Vernon estate.

Because ice cream was much more difficult to make back then than it is now, when it first came to America, it was a delicacy mostly enjoyed by the elite. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison loved ice cream as well and were known to eat it on special occasions. James’ wife, Dolly Madison, was a big fan of oyster ice cream and often served it to guests.

As America entered the 1800s and advancements in refrigeration were being made, ice cream became more accessible, and people quickly fell in love with it. The demand for ice cream continued to grow throughout the decades, and people eventually grew tired of serving it in dishes that had to be washed.

That’s when the ice cream cone came into play. Many believe the waffle cone was officially invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, allowing consumers to take their sweet treats to go.

Alena Ozerova – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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