History of Neapolitan Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

History of ice cream has forged the legends of many famous ice cream recipes, but one of the most famous came from Italy. As a home of the modern ice cream history and cultural center into which every renaissance trading route between renaissance Europe and distant Asia, Italian chefs were the first one who saw the potential of ice creams. As centuries went and fashion changed, they were usually the one who charted new ways of ice cream production, new technological inventions in the field of refrigeration and new recipes of making ever more tasteful and captivating ice cream recipes.

After Gelato conquered Italy and Europe between 15th and 18th century, fashion changes of 19th century brought the daunting task to Italian ice cream makers – how to reinvent ice cream into totally new form factor. Their solution was simple one - create one ice cream which will combine multiple flavors in one single and easy to produce, transport, and serve package. Their invention was Neapolitan ice cream, which received much attention after it was released to public in early 19th century, most notably by Italian ice cream maker named Giuseppe Tortoni who lived in Paris.

Neapolitan ice cream is made in form of one block, which is separated into three distinct flavors – most commonly vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Off course, many variation exists and many more toppings and flavors can be introduced to the recipe. Because of its blocky form and ability to travel far while being frozen, Italian immigrants quickly brought this cold treat to United States, where they introduced it as Spumoni in 1870s. With tremendous popularity and countless variation in recipes, Neapolitan ice cream very quickly conquered entire world, enabling countless cook to not only use it in ice cream recipes, but also as one of the most sought out ice cake ingredient.

Today, Neapolitan ice cream is mostly created in industrial production facilities, with some changes flavors (cherry instead of strawberry being the most common) and ice cake recipes.