You can thank Marco polo for one of the world’s favorite desserts: ice cream. Marco Polo saw ice cream made in China. He thought ice cream was such a good idea that he brought it back to Italy.
Ice cream was a favorite of the royal family of Medici in Italy. When Princess Catherine de Medici married King Henry I of France, she took her famous chefs and their recipe for gelato with her to Paris.
Ice cream was first served in the United States in the 1700’s. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776, the year that America declared independence from England.
Dolly Madison was the first person to serve ice cream at the White House. She was the wife of President James Madison. She served ice cream at President Madison’s inaugural ball.
In 1846 Nancy Johnson invented the first hand-cranked ice cream machine. She was a housewife from New England. Her machine made ice cream making a lot easier, and the ice cream a lot smoother. It became a popular American family pastime to make ice cream on Sunday afternoons and for special occasions.
The ice cream cone was invented at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904. Earnest A. Hamwi was selling a waffle pastry. The people in the booth next to him were selling ice cream. When they ran out of dishes, Hamwi rolled up his pastries and sold them to the ice cream booth. They put ice cream in them and sold ice cream cones.
Americans eat about 15 quarts of ice cream per person per year.