Ice cream is a very essential summer delicacy. On a hot day, we never hesitate to loosen our purse strings over ice -creams. While many of us reflect that ice-cream is a modern concept, it has got a very interesting origin dating back to 400 BC.
In the Persian Empire
, people would pour grape-juice concentrate over snow, in a bowl, and have this as a treat on a hot day. Snow would either be stored in the cool-keeping underground chambers known as "yakhchal", or taken from the snowfall that remained at the top of the mountains. In 400 BC, the Persians went further and invented a special chilled food, made of rose water and vermicelli, which was served to royalty during summers. The ice was mixed with saffron, fruits, and various other flavours.
|Chocolate Ice cream|
Ancient civilizations have served ice for cold foods for thousands of years. The BBC reports that a frozen mixture of milk and rice was used in Chinaaround 200 BC. The Roman Emperor Nero (37-680) had ice brought ice from the mountains and combined it with fruit toppings.
Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat asserts, in her History of Food, that "the Chinese may be credited with inventing a device to make sorbets and ice cream. They poured a mixture of snow and saltpetre over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup, for, in the same way as salt raises the boiling-point of water, it lowers the freezing-point to below zero. It has also been claimed that, in the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan enjoyed ice cream and kept it a royal secret until Marco Polo visited China
and took the technique of making ice cream to Italy
So, the next time you have an ice-cream, whether it’s a sundae or a gelato , do remember that you are relishing a royal delicacy!