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Origins of ice-cream

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  • Exercise Origins of ice-cream


    The earliest forms of ice cream bear little resemblance to the creamy sweet stuff inside your freezer. The emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) are believed to have been the first to eat a frozen milk-like confection. This version was made with cow, goat or buffalo milk that was heated with flour. Camphor, an aromatic substance harvested from evergreen trees, was added to enhance the texture and flavor. The mixture was then placed into metal tubes and lowered into an ice pool until frozen. This process is similar to the way Indians made kulfi prior to refrigeration. In medieval times, Arabs drank an icy refreshment called sherbet, or sharabt in Arabic. These chilled drinks were often flavored with cherry, pomegranate, or quince. Over time, the drinks became popular with the European aristocracy. Italians are said to have mastered this drink-making technique, with the French following suit shortly after. The 17th century saw ice drinks being made into frozen desserts. With the addition of sugar, sorbetto was created or, as we more commonly know it, sorbet. Antonio Latini (1642-1692), a man working for a Spanish Viceroy in Naples, is credited with being the first person to write down a recipe for sorbetto. He is also responsible for creating a milk-based sorbet, which most culinary historians consider the first official ice cream.

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