themes and issues

A (short) history of ice cream

Clickin’ by your house about two forty-five
With a sidewalk sundae strawberry surprise,
I got a cherry popsicle right on time
A big stick, mamma, that’ll blow your mind

‘Cause I’m your ice cream man,
I’m a one-man band (yeah)
I’m your ice cream man, honny,
I’ll be good to you.

Ice cream man by Tom Waits

(click on the link to listen to the song)

The history of ice cream, or “snow ice cream”, started some 3,000 years ago in China. Ice creams were originally made of ice and snow, mixed with fruit and topped with honey. Also the Roman Emperor Nero liked ice cream! He had some ice and snow brought to him from the mountains and used to eat it with fruit and honey. Also Marco Polo, the Italian great adventurer, brought back from his travels a recipe for making ice cream.

Since those times ice cream has continued to appeal to people all over the world, and has developed different variations with the passing of time.

At the beginning of 20th century the ice cream waffle cone was invented, and in the same years an American child discovered by chance how to make icicles: he had left a glass with water and soda and a stirring stick in it on the terrace outside his home overnight. The next day he found that the drink he had forgotten outside had frozen: he took it out from the glass and ate it… delicious!!! The freezy night had created a juicy “icicle” with a nice fruity flavour.

The Eskimo pie has an even more peculiar history!!! Another American ice cream seller created an ice cream bar covered with chocolate in 1934. The Eskimo pie was originally also called the I-Scream Bar (the pronunciation of “ice cream” and “I scream” are identical).

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