Ice Cream, Past and Present
Length: 860 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
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All over America, people enjoy eating the sweet and creamy dish called ice cream. Besides its probable Chinese origin, there are many other fun facts surrounding ice cream's history. Since the invention of ice cream, many flavors and toppings have been discovered. Ice cream has indeed opened the door to a new world in the universe of desserts.
The history of ice cream dates back to very early in the 15th century. Although no one knows for sure, ice cream is claimed to have originated in China and was introduced to Europe by Mark Twain after his travels to China (“ice cream”Wikipedia-The Online Encyclopedia). When ice cream was brought to America, it was given the name “ice cream” (Gail Damerow xvi). Previously, it had been called “ice”, “milk ice”, “cream ice”, or “butter ice” (Gail Damerow xvi).
In America, ice cream was considered a specialty or rarity (Gail Damerow xvi). Famous people like George Washington and James Madison served ice cream at banquets (Gail Damerow xvi). George Washington especially liked ice cream (Gail Damerow xvi) and would eat it without it being a special occasion!
With increased popularity, more ideas developed and ice cream production expanded. Jacob Fussel built the first ice cream factory in the 1800's (Mary Bellis) and the first American ice cream parlor went into business in the late 1700's (Mary Bellis). The ice cream scooper was invented in 1897 (Mary Bellis) and in 1946, Nancy Johnson invented the hand-crank ice cream freezer (Mary Bellis). New ice cream products also became popular. Ice cream bars, sundaes, milkshakes, and ice cream sodas were all successful “descendants” of ice cream.
Over the years, many flavors have been made. Because new flavors are being made everyday, no one has ever counted the exact number. There are many different flavors ranging from the unusual ones like “the mash” (peas and gravy ice cream) and Candied Bacon (Ariel Schwartz) to the more common flavors. The three most popular flavors in the U.S. are vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry (Encyclopedia Britannica “ice cream”). In fact, strawberry is guessed to have first been eaten at one of Dolly Madison's banquets (Gail Damerow xvi).
Dolly mixed strawberries from her garden into plain ice cream (Gail Damerow xvi). Perhaps many other flavors were discovered this way.
There are various toppings that have been put on ice cream. Strawberries, chocolate syrup, nuts, caramel, marshmallows, M&M's, Gummy Bears, Oreos, and candy bars are just a few toppings that people put on their ice cream. Out of all these, chocolate syrup is voted best in America (“Make Ice Cream”).
Making about 900 million gallons of ice cream per year (“The consumption of Ice Cream” 8), America stands as the top ice cream consuming country in the world (“Make Ice Cream”). The average American eats about 6 gallons of ice cream annually (“Make Ice Cream”).
In an American factory, it takes about four minutes to make a gallon of ice
cream. California produces the most ice cream in America (“Make Ice Cream”).
Surprisingly, only 9% of all U.S. milk (Mary Bellis) and 80% of vanilla beans grown in the United States are used to make ice cream (“Make Ice Cream”).
There are a few different ways people sell ice cream. These include factories, stores, ice cream parlors and even fast food restaurants. However, those are not the only places people may purchase ice cream. On a hot summer day, the soft chime of an ice cream truck, bicycle, or cart can be heard and instead of having to go get ice cream, the ice cream is brought to you. This idea is convenient, efficient, and sweetly enjoyed by children during their summer vacation.
Today, people eat ice cream quite often. In the summer, people enjoy a cool treat when all they feel hot. In the spring, ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches are savored as well. In the fall and winter, ice cream is scooped on to
steaming apple pie for families to enjoy together. All things taken into consideration, ice cream will always be an American staple.
Bellis, Mary. “The History of Ice Cream”. about.com:Inventors . 2010.The New York Times Company. 2010.
Damerow, Gail. Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop. Aurora, CO: Glenbridge Publishing Ltd. 1995.
“Ice Cream”. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. April 12, 2010.
“Ice Cream”. Wikipedia-The Online Encyclopedia. 2010. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. April 6, 2010.
“Make Ice Cream”. Make Ice Cream.com. 2008. yahoo.com. 2008.
Schwartz, Ariel. “The 10 Weirdest Ice Cream Flavors in Existence” Foodie Lists. 2010. SF Weekly Blogs. 2010.
World Book. “The consumption of Ice Cream”. World Book Encyclopedia 2010 I-0. 2009.