Food & Beverage

Ice Cream Time Madness

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Summer is halfway through, the temperature reached more than 100 degrees in some parts of the country. So, there is no better time to cool off from the summer heat and indulge in a scoop of ice cream, especially if it’s Ice Cream Month! But you will ask when is National Ice Cream Day? It’s the third Sunday of July, which this year falls on July 21st. In 1984, President of the United States Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month. It’s a good idea to remember this day because it is also called “free ice cream day” and some stores are giving the ice cream away for free. 

We all love this frozen treat, but how much do we know about where ice cream was invented and who invented it? There are some legends about the origin of ice cream. Some records tell us that the Chinese Emperor Tang (618-907AD) had his secret recipe of a cold dessert as an early form of ice cream, the mix of ice and milk. He even employed 94 icemen who made this frozen treat. Some other sources tell that the Roman Emperor Nero (circa 60 AD) often requested his slaves to go into the mountains and bring back ice or fresh unmelted snow, which was then flavored with some fruit juices. Other sources say that Marco Polo (13th century), after his trip to China, brought the secret recipe of ice cream to Italy. Since then ice cream dessert became very popular among rich aristocrats, only the powerful elite could afford this frozen dessert. 

Other interesting facts from the history of ice cream are that ice cream recipes were brought to America in the 1770s. The first ice cream shop was opened in 1776 in Manhattan. Thomas Jefferson became the first president who served ice cream at the White House. In 1896, Italian immigrant Italo Marciony began to sell ice cream in waffle cups from a pushcart in Manhattan. The first ice cream cone was made in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. 

Today you don’t have to be an aristocrat to enjoy ice cream, all you need to do is just go to the local grocery store or local ice cream shop and buy your favorite flavored ice cream. You can find sugar free, dairy-free ice cream, vegan ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet. We don’t need Marco Polo anymore to bring the secret recipe from China or elsewhere. Instead, other countries have already brought their signature ice creams to America. There are plenty of choices of ice cream you can choose from: sweet and salty, or spicy and sour. No matter your frozen treat preferences, you can find it all in today’s ice cream shops. In cities like New York City, you can find any ice cream you want in one of it’s diverse ice cream shops. 

Italian gelato. Gelato is extremely popular in the USA, because it is intensely flavored, extremely rich and it’s low in fat. 

Thai rolled ice cream, also known as stir-fried ice cream. It is made by pouring a milky base on an extremely cold steel surface, that looks like a pizza pan. Then a spatula is used to chop, scrape and chop again the mass. Once the base is frozen, it is scraped to make beautiful ice cream rolls.

Japanese mochi ice cream. Mochi is a thick, chewy Japanese rice cake with ice cream inside. 

Mediterranean stretchy ice cream or booza, also known as dondurma in Turkey. Two main ingredients that make ice cream stretchy and chewy like a gum are ground orchid root and mastic. Booza melts at a slower rate and keeps it’s shape longer. It is also fun to watch how stretchy your ice cream is. You can try booza ice cream at Republic of Booza in Williamsburg, NY .

Mexican-style ice pops paletas and chamoyada. If you want a kick in your ice cream, you need to try chamoyada. It’s like a sorbet, but has the most unique flavors, such as pickled plum juice, salted chile and more to make this treat spicy, fruity and sour. Available at La Newyorkina, NYC.

  Indian Malai ice cream. Malai ice cream is egg free, but very heavy on spices, such as masala chai, sweet corn saffron, Turkish coffee and more. This ice cream is available on sale on Malai’s website, and some are available at Whole Foods Stores, and at the Malai Ice Cream Shop, Brooklyn, NY.

Now you can try a new dessert trend this summer – liquid nitrogen ice cream! How cool is that? There is a science behind it. So, liquid nitrogen visibly vaporizes at room temperature and cools over anything it has contact with. Liquid nitrogen ice cream is safe to eat and fun to take a picture with. Try it at -321° Ice Cream Shop in Brooklyn, NY.

For those who love experimenting with the recipes and enjoy cooking overall, there is an option to make ice cream at home in an ice cream maker. All you need to do is buy an ice cream making machine. The prices of these machines range from $20 to $2000. The next step is to find a favorite ice cream recipe and start making ice cream like a pro.

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