A few weeks back we brought you a blog all about World Chocolate Day, and so we thought we would continue the theme of all things sweet with perhaps the most appropriate celebration during summertime - ‘National Ice Cream Month’.
Now whilst this celebration originated in the US, there are a number of countries around the world, including the UK, who have joined in this celebration with their own ‘Ice Cream Day’ which falls within the month of July.
So, with this in mind, we thought it only fitting that we provide you with some fun facts about one of our nation's favourite sweet treats.
History of Ice Cream
Like many foods we enjoy today, the exact origin of ice cream is largely unknown. However, what we do know is that ice cream dates back to around sometime between 54 AD and 68 AD, at a time when Nero was Emperor of Rome - who would have thought it, particularly since it would have been difficult to keep it frozen in those days!
The first recorded mention of ice cream in England wasn’t until about 1671, when a plate of ice cream was served to Charles II at the Feast of St. George in Windsor. In fact, the only table at the banquet with ice cream on it was that of the King!
The first mention of ice cream in any form of recipe came some years later in London in 1718 when a book was written by Mrs Mary Eales that was dedicated entirely to confectionery, where ice cream was made in tin ice-pots.
Ice cream became very popular and inexpensive in England by the mid-nineteenth century with the introduction of ice cream scoops being sold in shells in London, leading to mass importing of ice from Norway.
The first mention of an edible ‘cone’ to be used as a receptacle for ice cream was in 1888, when Agnes Marshall wrote her ‘Book of Cookery’. The recipe called for the ‘cornets’ to be made with almonds and then baked in the oven.
Ice cream finally became popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century when cheap refrigeration became common, allowing storage of ice cream which led to various flavours and types being produced.
Facts About Ice Cream
Before signing off, here are a few facts about ice cream to feed your mind (as well as your belly):
- Before milk-based desserts were invented, ice creams were actually made from Ice.
- The world's largest consumer of ice cream is the US, where 90% of households eat ice cream.
- The biggest ever ice cream sundae was created in Canada, weighing in at a whopping 24 tons.
- During their lifetime, each dairy cow can produce enough milk to make 9,000 gallons of ice cream.
There are, of course, so many different varieties of ice cream nowadays, and it is one of the most popular desserts for many people in the UK.
So, whatever your choice of flavour, or whether you prefer a cone, flake, juice, sprinkles, or just on its own, make sure to get some today and celebrate National Ice Cream Month - after all, with an excuse like that, who can say no!