May 27th, 2008 12:07 EST
Summer Time is Ice Cream Time
Summer is upon us, and if you are anything like me, you have already taken it as an excuse to demolish a few bowls of ice cream. From humble vanilla to exotic green tea, ice cream has established itself as king of the hill when it comes to cold delights. To whom do we owe this tasty treat?
The earliest recipes for flavored ices appeared in 17th-century France. In 1718, a British confectioner named Mary Eales released a cookbook entitled, "Mrs. Mary Eales's Receipts", which contained a recipe for - you guessed it - ice cream, which could be flavored by any type of fruit.
The delightful dish made its appearance into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1744, where it was said to "eat most deliciously." Apparently, ice cream has always been good.
Ice cream finally made its way to America in the hands of the Quakers. Vendors were known to sell the dish in early New York; many of our country's Founding Fathers, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were known ice cream enthusiasts.
For the average person, however, a sundae at three in the morning did not become an option until cheap methods of refrigeration were developed in the latter half of the last century. We are also enjoying a softer scoop! Modern ice cream is much softer than it was 200 years ago, due to a modern process that has more than doubled the amount of air in any given bite.
With countless flavors, forms and uses, ice cream is versatile. Anyone who has ever really just wanted a chocolate cone can tell you that sometimes, you do not need to get fancy. Overall, it is irreplacable in this writer's heart as the king of summer snacks.
After all, you never see kids charging outside for the cake truck. I, like them, scream for ice cream. You should too.