There is a legend that the Roman emperor Nero used to send slaves to the mountains to collect snow and ice to make flavored ice, the precursor to ice cream.
The first written mention of ice cream was found in a letter from the 1700s in which the governor of Maryland admiringly describes ice cream and strawberry dessert served at a dinner party. Initially, ice cream was a treat only for the elite (including George Washington, who is said to have consumed it in huge quantities), the first ice cream shop opened in New York in 1776. In 1845, the hand-crank freezer was invented, allowing ice cream to be made at home.
Americans consume the majority of the world's ice cream per capita, with Australians in second place. In 1997, the International Dairy Food Association reported that the number of ice cream consumed jumped to 48 pints a year.
The most energetic ice cream eaters in the US don't live in Hawaii, the South, California, or any other hot country. Instead, it was reported in 1999 that good citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, ate more ice cream per person than any other American.
Vanilla is the most popular flavor in ice cream and accounts for 20 to 29 percent of sales. Chocolate shares approximately 9 to 10 percent of the market.
One of the main ingredients in ice cream is air. Without it, the material would be as hard as stone.
Among the most unusual ice cream flavors ever produced are avocado, garlic, bean, pumpkin, and dill.
One in five ice cream eaters shares this pleasure with a dog or cat.
Ice cream novelties such as ice cream on a stick or ice cream briquette were introduced in the 1920s. It was made for children, but today, adults consume almost half of these pleasures.