Ice Cream - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The American Treasure Tour blog is always prepared to tackle the important issues that affect our day-to-day lives.  Today, we reach into the hearts and souls of many Americans to address a subject that affects us all:  ice cream.  Tragically, there are some people who have no appreciation for this wonderful commodity, and to you we offer our sympathy and sadness.  But we invite the majority of our friends to celebrate the wonderful creaminess of cold but ever-so-tasty ice cream.  Not only because we have advertisements dedicated to heightening awareness of some local (to the Tour) brands, but because it is ever so wonderful, at any time of day or night.

Ice cream has been around a very long time in one form or another.  The earliest-known version of it is Persian, dating to 500 B.C., when grape juice concentrate was poured over snow.  Sweetened ices and snow were also mentioned in records from the times of the Ancient Romans, then the Chinese used salt-peter and snow to chill a sweetened combination of milk and rice cold by 200 A.D.  It was not until the 17th century that the technology reached England.  In fact, Charles I of England liked it so much that he supposedly offered his personal ice cream chef a lifelong pension to ensure that the recipe would remain secret and that no commoner would be able to enjoy his wonderful treat.  The chef was beheaded in 1649 for revealing his recipe to others.  The first published recipe for it in English was by Mary Eale of London, in 1718.

It reached the American colonies within the next twenty-five years, and many of the Founding Fathers - including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson - were known to be fans of it, but it was mostly available only to the wealthy until about 1851, when the first commercial production of the tasty dessert complemented the Industrial Revolution. Nothing like a good treat to end a sixteen-hour day working in the steel mill!  

Here are some other important ice cream-related dates:
1874 - The ice cream soda is attributed to an American, Robert Green.
1888 - The first recorded use of an edible cone on which to place your scoop(s) of ice cream, made out of almonds.
1904 - The waffle cone was introduced at the St. Louis World's Fair.
1939 - American ice cream was sent to Europe to improve Allied morale in the early days of World War II.  
Controversy surrounds the date and location of the creation of the first sundae, so we will leave it with being somewhere between 1881 and 1892.  We hope this is settled soon between the good people of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Evanston, Illinois, and Ithaca, New York.  Tomorrow, we will discuss a few brands of ice cream!
QUESTION:  Which of the following is one of the most popular flavors of ice cream in the United States?
A)  Strawberry
B)  Butter Pecan
C)  Black Raspberry
D)  Pralines 'N Cream

SUBWAY!!!  Everything has a beginning, and the New York City subway system is no exception.  Although work on the subway began not long after the devastating blizzard of 1888, today marks the official opening of the first completed line - the Lexington Avenue Line - in 1904.  It has become one of the largest in the world, with approximately 660 miles of passenger lines spanning under the city.

ANSWER:  D)  Pralines 'N Cream.  Who knew?  The other four most favorites are vanilla (number one), mint chocolate chip, Oreo cookies and cream, and chocolate.