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Ice cream, a short history. All the facts, flavours and who invented them

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The first Ice Cream Cup

The first ice cream cup was found in Egypt in a tomb in 2700BC.

It was a kind of mould made from two silver cups, one of which contained snow or crushed ice, and the other cooked fruit.

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  • Ancient Rome had special wells to store ice and snow. The ruins of Pompeii left traces to make us think that some shops specialised in selling crushed ice sweetened with honey.
  • In China and Japan, ice was gathered to preserve food. During the Tang Dynasty, a drink was recorded, con...

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  • One legend claims that the Medici family organised a competition for the most original culinary recipes. It was won by a chicken seller (a Ruggeri) who submitted a composition of water, sugar, and fruit. It is thought that Catherine de' Medici brought Ruggeri and his ice cr...

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  • 1674: The French author Nicolas Lemery cites the first recipe in French for aromatised ice.
  • 1685 - 1686: Scientist and poet Francesco Redi wrote in his poem Arianna inferma "Let cellars and ice-jugs be at the ready, and decanters packed to the neck...

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  • 1769 - 1770: By the late 1700s, wafers rolled into a cone shape were served at the end of the meal or along with fruit and pastries.
  • 1770: Giovanni Basiolo brought ice cream to New York. He sold Panera, a semi-frozen coffee and milk product popular...

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  • 1843: Nancy M. Johnson creates and patents an "artificial freezer" to make iced products. Two years later, William Young added a motor.
  • 1851: Jacob Fussel poured leftover cream and milk into the 'artificial freezer,' and later opens the first ice c...

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  • 1896: Italo Marchioni begins to serve and sell cone-shaped wafer cups in New York. He patents his method of making them in 1903.
  • 1902: In Great Britain, Antonio Valvona patented an oven for baking "biscuit cups for ice creams."
  • 190...

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The first ice cream factories opened in the USA before the war. In Italy, pre-confectioned ice cream was a post-war delicacy.

In recent years, home-made or artisan ice-cream has become increasingly sophisticated in technique and ingredients.

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