Ah, ice cream – that sweet treat that always brings a smile to our faces! For many of us, it’s the taste of summer and childhood memories. But what is it about some flavors that stand the test of time while others only represent a fad of our times? What makes some ice creams stick around for generations while others fade into history forever? We’re here to explore these topics and see what makes an ice cream timeless.
From classic flavors to clever marketing campaigns, we’ll take a look into what makes ice cream so special and why it remains a popular treat for years to come. Because at the end of the day, ice cream can be a mirror of our times – it reflects culture, fashion, and attitudes. So let’s dive into the fascinating world of ice cream, to discover what makes it so timeless!
Tracing Roots Frozen in Time
Historian Mary Miley Theobald, writes in the The Colonial Williamsburg Journal that according to popular belief ice cream first originated in China, though little reliable research has been done on the subject. Historical evidence from the seventh century mentions a frozen milk product and another description of frozen milk survives from the twelfth century. Even more concretely, there were reports of ice cream being served at the Mogul court during the fourteenth century.
It is thought that knowledge of how to freeze things by using salt and ice was spread overland along the Silk Road routes from China through the Middle East and into Italy, giving rise to this beloved treat. The origins of ice cream in Europe can be traced back to 1665 when Lady Anne Fanshawe, the wife of Sir Richard, Charles II’s ambassador to Spain, wrote a handwritten recipe for “To make Icy Cream”.
This recipe suggested the use of fashionable ingredients at the time such as ambergris and orange-flower water but failed to mention an important addition; salt. Adding salt or saltpeter to the ice surrounding the ice cream base was a modern development that enabled mixtures to be frozen solid due to its endothermic reaction causing the freezing temperature of water to become colder.
Prior to this discovery, mankind’s experience withPrior to this discovery, mankind’s experience with ices came in semi-frozen drinks like Persian sherbet which was made by whisking ice shavings or snow into sugar syrup and citrus juice. This gave Western ice cream flavors an Eastern influence with rosewater, orange-flower blossom and fragrant citrus are amongst the most popular.
The 18th century is regarded as a very popular time for ice cream due to the variety of flavors available in fashionable London parlors. Chocolate, pistachio, pineapple, jasmine, artichoke, candied pumpkin, pine nut, pear and chestnut were just some of the creative flavors that customers could enjoy at this time.
A century later, cookbooks of the time gave us a glimpse into what flavors were available to the general public. Ice cream recipes such as vanilla cream, raspberry cream, citron cream, and peach cream from Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife cookbook (1828) reveals the popularity of fruit flavors and shows that custards were becoming increasingly popular. Back then, chocolate flavor was the exception, not the rule, unlike today. Even when it was available, most period ice creams were flavored with fruit as it was more readily available.
A Journey Through Popular Global Flavors
Slowly but surely, ice cream started becoming part of the different cultures around the world, each culture embracing its flavors and styles. The U.S. was one part of the world that took the classic flavors and gave them an American twist. Let’s have a quick look at the most popular flavors of the past century in the West.
In the early 1900s, Neapolitan ice cream was all the rage in the U.S.. The classic combination of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry was pressed into one block and served as one dessert. Not only that, but this decade saw the invention of the beloved ice cream cone. Moving on to the 1910s, fruit sherbet became a popular palate cleanser for dinner parties. This water-based treat often had fruit juice, and liqueurs added to it for flavor and sweetness.
The 1920s brought about Rocky Road ice cream which was invented by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy during the Great Depression to bring joy to their customers. The unique blend of marshmallow bits, and chopped almonds mixed with chocolate ice cream left a lasting impression on many. The 1930s saw the return of rum raisin ice cream, a combination of rum-soaked Málaga raisins and vanilla gelato. This flavor has been revived over the decades since then.
The 1940s brought about the invention of soft-serveThe 1940s brought about the invention of soft-serveice cream from Tom Carvel’s broken-down ice cream truck which proved to be an instant hit. During the 1950s, pineapple was added to various desserts including chocolate and raspberry flavors as well as sherbets thanks to the fascination with Hawaii and Polynesia culture at the time. Butter pecanice cream became popular in the 1960s as did mint chocolate chip in the 1970s thanks to the royal family. Cherry Garciaice cream was created in the 1980s by Ben & Jerry’s andChocolate Chip Cookie Dough arrived in the 1990s. Cake batter and salted caramel revolutionized the 2000s, bringing sweet and savory together in a delicious combination.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Asian ice cream makers have taken traditional flavors to a whole new level with flavors like black sesame, red beans, pandan, green tea, lychee, plum wine, tamarind, and more. In addition to these flavors, more modern ones such as cookies and cream, strawberry cheesecake, and birthday cake are also being enjoyed. From snow ice with boba to rolled ice cream and pastel-colored mochi, Asian ice cream flavors are becoming increasingly popular all over the world.
With so many different flavors and textures available, it’s no wonder why ice cream has been around for centuries. However, the competition is strong and the market for this beloved treat continues to evolve as fast as the preferences of the people who eat it. Some ice cream creations have stood the test of time and will remain a favorite for years to come, some of the newer creations will undoubtedly become classics in their own right and there are also some forgotten creations that are waiting to be rediscovered.
Timeless Classics, Heroes of the Past
Ever wondered what makes an ice cream classic? It’s not just the flavor that counts but also the story behind it. Classic flavors often have a history of their own, ones that span many generations which is why they remain so cherished to this day.
One of the oldest classic flavors of ice cream is vanilla. Its rich aroma and recognizable taste make it one of the most beloved ice creams in existence. Vanilla’s popularity today stems from its use as a flavoring for cakes and pies as well as its addition to milkshakes and other creamy drinks like frappes.
Evidently, it has been around for such a long time that it has been inextricably linked to important moments in our lives. At the end of the day, our senses evoke emotions and memories that make us feel comforted and happy. This is exactly why we still enjoy a scoop of vanilla ice cream on days when we’re feeling nostalgic or simply need something comforting.
Then again there are some flavors and styles of ice cream that were popular back in the day and have since been forgotten. Old ice cream recipes such as Baked Alaska, a 19th-century creation of meringue and sponge cake encasing vanilla ice cream which is then dusted with toasted meringue and placed in the oven for a few minutes could be one of them.
Baked Alaska is an intriguing subject of food evolution and culinary folklore, with various origin stories being debated amongst food historians. This classic dessert was most fashionable during the mid-20th century, when its charmingly feminine look mirrored the pastel fashion aesthetic of the time. Sadly, ice cream pies soon gave way to other desserts in the 1960s such as red velvet cake and black forest cake, causing Baked Alaska to become a seldom-seen dish.
In Turkey, on the other hand, if you walk the streets of Istiklal, the most famous street in Istanbul, you’ll find ice cream vendors dressed in traditional garb serving up Maraş ice cream in a fun way. Maraş ice cream has a history of three hundred years, and it is at the heart of the region’s tradition.
The vendors provide a link to the old-fashioned ways of doing things as they dress in their regional costumes and perform modern tricks while serving up their signature delicacy. They use a unique set of techniques to perform an entertaining show while you wait for your scoop. You will have to play a game with the vendor, in which they will tease and trick you with their moves in order to make sure you have fun while working for your cone. This is just one example of a region that has created its own unique creation which has stood the test of time by offering an experience that brings together past and present.
What Makes Ice Cream Stick Around?
As time passes and new trends come and go, so do some flavors of ice cream. But what makes certain flavors and ice cream styles timeless at the end of the day? Many people can relate to classics; they evoke nostalgia for certain memories that are forever frozen in time. This nostalgic feeling is what makes customers come back for more again and again. Furthermore, the flavors we choose often reflect something about our personalities or cultural backgrounds which allows us to express ourselves through this beloved treat.
On the other hand, young generations are continually rewarding new ideas and expect them from the industry as well. They are looking for something fun and exciting to experience, making it possible that they won’t have the same feeling of nostalgia that older generations have for certain ice cream brands, styles or flavors. With so many options available to them, is it possible to evoke future nostalgia among young ice cream lovers?
It’s a question that the ice cream industry must consider in order to stay relevant. Right now the answer lies in the balance between traditional flavors that evoke nostalgia and modern creations that offer something new. Ice cream makers have to keep pace with trends, while at the same time maintaining a connection to the flavors of the past.
Brands and flavors that are iconic to millennials might eventually be forgotten in the future. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t left their mark on the industry: they’re simply paving the way for new flavors and creative concepts that will last through time. And if there is one more thing that we have learnt from other industries as well, is that fashion often goes round in circles. What is out today might make a comeback tomorrow.
It is highly possible though, that we are entering a new era of ice cream with innovative flavors and diverse ingredients becoming the norm for generations to come. It is up to us to be creative and adventurous in our approach as consumers, while keeping an eye on the classics. After all, there is something special about the gift of ice cream: it offers unique experiences and memories that can stay with us forever. It’s a treat with the ability to unite the past, present, and future for generations to come.
At the end of the day, what makes ice cream last through time? Its ability to make us feel connected; whether through nostalgia or exploration – no matter how strange or different these connections may be. Discovering these connections through our taste buds is part of the joy of life.