You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

in Ice-cream

Summer is fast approaching – much to the delight of children and warm weather aficionados.  What better way to make everyone in your household happy than homemade ice cream, also dubbed gelato, sorbet or frozen custard? Not only will you be the most popular person in your home, but making your own chilly frozen delights allows you to custom design flavors and textures for varying tastes and dietary restrictions.

Fancy ice cream shops are opening up around the world, with these boutique ice-creameries changing flavors on a daily basis. Not only does that keep the product fresh, but leaves customers wondering what they'd like to try next (ie, it keeps ‘em coming back). Recent samplings include Strawberry Balsamic, Coconut Miso, Salty Dulce de Leche, Rosewater Lychee. Even the chain grocery stores are doing the proverbial "thinking out of the box," with choices like Salted Carmel Truffle, Moose Madness and more.

The most basic ice cream is made up of dairy (milk and/or cream), sugar or sugar substitute, and added fruits and flavors. The government (in the U.S.) regulates what can and can't be called ice cream, sherbet (1% to 2% milk fat, sweeter), sorbet (dairy-free fruit puree), gelato (less milk fat than ice cream) or frozen custard (10% milk fat and 1.4% egg yolk) or frozen yogurt, but the end result is that they're doing their best to keep you happy and healthy.
What used to be called ice milk (less than 10% milk fat and less sugar) is now just called low-fat ice cream. Some ice creams are made with soy, rice or goats milk – as an alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Others prefer the soy or rice milks since they are vegan/non-animal.

Believe it or not, variations of iced desserts have been around since 400 B.C. Persians
poured grape juice over ice for a treat. Given the challenge of getting the ice, it's not surprising it was reserved for royalty. Falooden, still a traditional dessert in Iran, Pakistan
and Afghanistan, was also developed during this time. Falooden consists of thin
vermicielli noodles frozen with corn starch, rosewater, lime juice and frequently, ground pistachios.

Arabs are said to have been the first to add milk to their frozen dessert, subbing out sugar for fruit juices. Ice cream treats were popular in cities like Cairo, Damascus and Bagdad.

The Chinese, says The BBC, combined milk and rice and froze it, circa 200 B.C. And
also designed and developed a machine to make ice cream, a precursor to the hand-cranked machines that are still used today.  It's believed that c. 62 A.D., Nero had slaves climb the Apennine Mountains to get snow and then had it served topped with fruit and/or flavored with honey and nuts. Kublai Khan, like the Persians, wanted to keep it for the royals, but when Marco Polo arrived in China, he took the recipes to Italy.

In 1533, Italian duchess Catherine de' Medici married a French royal; she took her ice-cream making Italian chefs who subsequently introduced France to ice cream. There are unsubstantiated rumors that King Charles I of England was so gob-smacked over the frozen dessert he decreed the formula be kept secret, only for, you guessed it, royalty.

Ice cream was, understandably, particularly popular in hot weather. Tenacity won out and soon the "regular" populace was making ice cream. Recipes began popping up in cookbooks in the 1700s, in England. The Quaker colonists brought it to America.

It's no surprise, given ice cream's international origins that countries throughout the world have their own signature variations. The Filipinos' Halo-Halo and the Malaysians' and Singaporeans'  Ais kacang – both are made with shaved-iced desserts served with milk, beans and fruits. The Turks have ice cream made with, among other ingredients, orchids. In North America, in areas where maple trees are in abundance, maple toffee is the iced treat of choice. It's made of maple syrup boiled to concentrate and poured over fresh snow and then eaten with a stick. The Indians have Kulfi, which is described as a thicker, more dense ice cream and comes in flavors like rose, cardamom and saffron.

Prior to "readily" available refrigeration, ice cream could only be reserved as a very special treat. Imagine, if you will, a world where you can't just pick up a frozen delight at the local 7/11 or grocery store, where there aren't shops like Pinkberry, Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, and Yogurtland. Yes, it's a thought too scary for ice cream lovers to conceive of.



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Sammi Jonesman has 1 articles online

Sammi, obviously, is an ice cream lover and is really glad for modern conveniences, like the freezer and the home computer. The freezer serves to store her ice cream, which she stocks up on because the grocery store is 35 miles away, and the home computer is invaluable as Sammi pursues her other love-gardening. Living so far out in the "boonies", she does most of her shopping online and has found that when it comes to gardening supplies, is the best when it comes to selection, price and customer service. Sammi just bought a vinca vine from there. Ever seen one? If not, check this out: She also bought some calibrachoa plants:

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You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

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This article was published on 2011/05/17