It’s very difficult to accurately trace the history of ice cream and icy drinks. They were certainly enjoyed by Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Macedonians, Chinese, Indians and Arabs, in fact, the word ‘sorbet’ comes from the Arabic term ‘sherbeth’, meaning ‘sweet snow’.
ICE CREAM AND ROMANS
Wealthy Romans could afford the luxury of eating winter snow in summertime which had been kept under straw in deep pits, although what they ate was a long way from ice cream as we know it today. To get nearer to modern day ice cream, we have to wait till the sixteenth century when two Medici cooks, Ruggeri and Buontalenti, took something similar to France with Catherine de Medici on her marriage to the King of France. It was at this royal court that something more or less resembling modern day ice cream was made.
IN THE 17THCENTURY
In the end it was in Paris half way through the seventeenth century that ice cream really took off. It was thanks to a Sicilian named Procopio de’ Coltelli, son of a fisherman who before dying had managed to build the world’s first ice cream ‘machine’.
ICE CREAM TODAY
From this point on, all developments in the history of ice cream were made by Italians, even though many of them were based abroad.
Ice cream, either Italian style made with eggs or American style made with cream, still has a high energy count and is perfect for a snack between meals. Obviously, a great deal depends on how much you eat, there are around 130 – 290 kcal per 100g.