What Was the First Flavor of Ice Cream Ever Made?

January 13, 2016

first ice cream flavorIce cream comes in hundreds of flavors, from vanilla to chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, and many other varieties. Many people think vanilla was the first ice cream flavor invented since it is the most popular, but that is actually not the case.

In the 4th century B.C., the Roman emperor Nero had servants go into the mountains to collect snow that was used to make a frozen dessert flavored with honey, nuts, and fruit toppings. However, this was not technically ice cream since it did not contain milk or cream. Some of the earliest frozen desserts that included milk and cream among their ingredients were introduced in the Middle East around the 10th century A.D. They were also flavored with fruit and nuts.

Desserts that resemble the ice cream we know today were only introduced in the 18th century in England and the United States. One of the earliest recipes was in a book called “Mrs. Mary Eale’s Receipts.” It was for ice cream flavored with cherries, raspberries, currants, or strawberries.

Europeans were also perfecting the art of making ice cream around that time. They used fruit, as well as grated cheese and candied orange flower. They experimented with some rather unusual flavors, including asparagus and foie gras (made with duck livers).

It is very likely that the first flavor of ice cream ever made used some type of fruit. There is no evidence that early ice cream makers used vanilla bean or vanilla extract to make the kind of vanilla ice cream that is so popular today. Vanilla was one of the first flavors that was widely produced in the modern era from the 19th century to the present. It is still the top-selling flavor in the world, even with many newer and more complex flavors available.

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