The History of Ice Cream

Did you know that ice cream’s roots can be traced back as far as the second century BC? Based on texts that have survived, including the Bible, we know that Alexander the Great and King Solomon enjoyed snow/ice drinks flavored with honey, nectar and fruit juices. The Romans were also fans of this iced concoction including Emperor Nero in the first century AD. The emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) are thought to be the first to eat a frozen milk-like product while in medieval times, Arabs drank sherbet, an icy drink flavored with cherry, pomegranate or quince. Europe discovered ice cream in the 16th century, calling it “cream ice” and it was served regularly in royal circles in England and France. It was until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the public.

So, how did ice cream make its way to the United States? Most likely, ice cream was brought by European settlers in the 1700s. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York in 1790. Early US presidents were fans of the cool treat. Until 1800, ice cream remained a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite – at least until insulated ice houses were invented around 1800 and mass-producing ice cream became an industry. As ice cream became more widely available, new creations emerged like the American soda fountain shop and the profession of the “soda jerk” in 1874. Now a staggering 9% of American cow milk production is dedicated to this sweet treat.

Bridgewaters is having its own celebration of National Ice Cream Day on July 15 from 10am-3pm in the shop. Stop in and sample some delicious flavors while you shop for the perfect summer essentials TrayChic, Mariposa or Nambe.