Timeline of Ice Cream - From Ancient to Modern Ice Creams

  • 500 BC – People of Persian Empire were the first who started making ice cream. They would pour grape juice concentrate over snow, and eat it during the hot summers.
  • 400 BC – Persians invented ice cream recipe for their royal families. It consisted of iced rose water, vermicelli, saffron, fruits and other sweet flavors.
  • 37-68 BC – Historians have found records that Roman Emperor Nero liked chilled delicacies. He had a supply of ice from the mountains constantly brought to him so that he may eat it with fruit and honey toppings.
  • 200 AD – Ancient Chinese records tell of frozen mixture of milk and rice that was consumed as a summer treat.
  • 800- 900 – Arabs defined the modern recipe of ice cream by introducing milk and sugar as primary ingredient. By 10th century, ice cream made of milk, cream, flavored rosewater, dried fruits and nuts was used over entire Arab lands, especially in Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo.
  • 1100 – Chinese royal families and wealthy citizens started regular use of several ice based summer treats.
White Ice Cream on a Stick
  • Late 13th century – Marco Polo returns to Italy, carrying with him the tale and recipe for ice cream. Italy becomes fascinated with findings from Middle East and Asia and starts the age of Renaissance.
  • 1533 – Ice cream remained popular only in Italy, until marriage of Catherine de'Medici and Henry II of France introduced ice cream to continental France, and soon after that entire Europe.
  • 1649 – The most famous ice cream related death. Chef of Charles I of England was beheaded shortly after his famous ice cream recipe started circulating in the public. He died because he broke his oath to Charles I of England never to reveal it.
  • 1744 – Scottish colonists brought ice cream recipe to North America.
  • 1774 – American caterer Philip Lenzi returned from London into New York, and immediately announced beginning of the ice cream sales.
  • 1813 – Wife of the U.S. President James Madison, Dolly Madison, served ice cream at presidential Inaugural Ball of 1813.
  • 1846 - Nancy Johnson of New Jersey invented first hand cranked and portable freezer.
  • 1851 - Beginning of the commercial ice cream production in North America.
  • 1904 – Tremendous ice cream demand at St. Louis. The World's Fair caused local ice cream sellers to make the world’s first ice cream cones. This early models were made by employing services of nearby waffle vendor.
  • 1926 – First continuous and commercially viable freezer is perfected, marking the beginning of the worldwide ice cream industry.
  • 1934 – “Eskimo pie” was first chocolate covered ice cream.
  • 1939 – Mass production of American ice cream that was sent to boost morale of the Allied troops in Europe managed to popularize this dish across entire world. Majority of the world thought of ice cream as American invention.
  • Second part of 20th century – Cheap refrigeration, explosion of mass produces ice cream brands, and introduction of “soft ice cream” made ice cream one of the most popular summer treats.
White Ice Cream on a Stick