The True History of Ice Cream
Ice cream is part of the Italian diet, as it concludes a meal or delights the palate during a break or a snack. It is a product whose origins are very ancient. It is mentioned for the first time at the time of the Greeks, around 500 BC. Obviously it is not the version we know and consume today, but a distant ancestor. It was in fact prepared with snow or ice, adding aromas such as lemon juice, honey and pomegranate extract.
The evolution of ice cream
Before the arrival of real ice cream, what we find in ancient written testimonies was sorbet. Sherbet in Arabic, because it was they who coined this term to indicate any iced beverage. Having them control of Sicily, they used to use the snow of Etna to prepare tasty drinks.
Many years had to pass before having a real ice cream on the table. It was in fact in 1565 that, at the court of Caterina de’ Medici, architect Buontalenti built a machine to produce ice cream. By means of a pinwheel mechanism, he managed to create an almost ice cream-like sorbet, using simple ingredients such as snow, lemons, sugar, egg whites, milk and salt, which lowered the temperature.
Like everything else, Buontalenti’s ice cream machine was destined to improve and this time Francesco Procopio thought about it and in 1686 he opened in Paris the first gelato sorbet shop, where he also used fruit. It is only in 1846 when ice cream arrives in the United States. It was right here that Nancy Johnson opened the first ice cream shop. The new frontier consists in the use of a tub filled with ice and a cylinder operated by hand crank. In 1900, the first motorized sorbet maker arrived.
Classic and innovative flavors of ICE CREAM
The Italian company Fabbri was the first to mark the revolution of flavors. While in the past fruit and milk were used, with the advent of syrups, the world of gelato changed. To a base of milk, cream and water, it is now possible to add creams and syrups in order to enrich the taste, creating combinations which today are even unusual.
Besides classic creams and fruit flavored ice creams, more and more particular flavors are being created. Every place uses the typical products available. So, if in Milan you can find Gorgonzola ice cream, in Japan it is not rare to find Wasabi ice cream. In Germany, during Oktoberfest, the beer flavor is very popular, while in Emilia Romagna you can find Parmigiano Reggiano. These are just some of the unusual flavors that can be found among the counters of an ice cream shop. Are you ready to discover them all?