The Sweet Lowdown on Ice Cream

What’s summer without the tunes of an ice cream truck or a big ice cream cone on a hot day? Ice cream is a treat we’ve all grown up loving, but do you know where it originated?

A peek into the history of ice cream, it goes back farther than you think!

5th Century: In ancient Greece, a treat made from snow mixed with fruit and honey was sold in the markets.

1300’s: Marco Polo is cited to bring pasta and ice cream to Italy, although both claims are highly debatable. The most accepted story is that he brought a recipe that closely resembled a sherbet.

1700’s: Ice cream is introduced as a delicacy in America. The first written account occurs in 1744, in a letter recounting the novel treat at a get together for the elite at Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen’s residence.

1776: Phillip Lenzi opens his first ice cream parlor in New York City. He sells ice cream as well as other sweet treats of the day. Advertisements in the local paper document his existence. Giovanni Bosio also claims to have established the first gelateria in 1777, but with no proof.

1832: Augustus Johnson gained fame for inventing a superior ice cream making technique as well as new recipes!

1843: The real fun begins when Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia receives the patent for the first small scale, home ice cream maker appliance.

1851: The first ice cream plant is constructed by Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussel. Wholesale ice cream caught on faster than an ice cream scoop can melt in the summer.

1880: Ice cream sundae is born, but its origins are complex enough for its own blog post. Let’s just say that it was originally a Sunday only treat, but after it had gained popularity it became a sundae all week treat!

1904: The world’s first waffle cone makes its debut at the world fair in St. Louis. Visitors happily slurp up their treat with no utensils.

1929: Rocky Road is the first widely distributed flavor, other than strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla. Dreyer’s ice cream is credited for naming the ice cream something to smile about during the Great Depression.

1984: July is declared National Ice Cream Month. National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July!

From its humble beginnings as snow, ice cream has a ton to celebrate for how far it’s come!