"I scream,You scream,We all scream for Ice Cream"

Everything you wanted to know about Italian Ice Cream

The Origins of Ice Cream

The origins of ice cream are not so clear,however according to some scholars, in Egypt Pharaohs used to offer to thier guests silver goblet full of ice and fruit juice and even Alexander the Great,during his Indian campaign,used to demand ice with fruit and honey.

During the Roman domination we have something very close to ice cream since they would cut ice and mix it with fuit juice in order to create a sort of frozen cream. According to the legend even Nero and Elagabalus had an indigestion because they ate too much of this food.With the barbaric invasions and the coming of Middle-Ages the production of ice cream disappeared from Europe but it  wasn’t the same for the East. It seems that was one of Mahomet’s followers who discovered the tecnique to freeze fruit juices and then the Arabs brought this tradition back to Europe,adding sugar to the recipe, and especially to Sicily where ice cream was called sorbet,from the arabic term sherbet which means “sweet snow”.From that part of Italy ice cream spread to Naples,Florence,Milan,Venice and then to France,Germany,England and Spain.

During the Italian Renaissence there are some men who made the history of ice cream. First of all we have Ruggeri,a poulterer from Tuscany who participated to a competition at the Medici’s Court about food and created a new recipe based on ice cream;he became so famous that Caterina de Medici took him with her when she got married with the Duke of Orlean and went to France.Next we have Bernardo Buontalenti who was an architect and an amateur cook from Florence; he was supposed to organize luxurious feasts where he was able to present his personal ice cream made with fruit and zabaglione,a typical italian cream,which was extremely successful. Finally there was Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli,a fisherman from Sicily,who started producing ice cream thanks to a machine and so we can say that he began to consider that kind of food as a business. As a matter of fact he moved to France and succeded there also because he added salt to the ice to make it last longer.

In 1600 in New York an Italian man,Giovanni Bosio,opened the first gelateria,an ice cream parlour,and in Paris another Italian,Tortoni, invented the ice cream put between two biscuits. Meanwhile the recipe started to be modified since milk,eggs and cream were added to fruits and honey and the gelato as we know it today was born.


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