Dietribes: We All Scream for Ice Cream!

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Although we just missed National Ice Cream Month, that's no reason to skip out on this icy treat now, especially in such hot weather. Here are some facts and figures regarding one of the best bribing tools ever created, Ice Cream.

"¢ Ice Cream, in some form, has been enjoyed as far back as second century B.C., and became an American favorite in the 1700s. In fact, here is a picture of Thomas Jefferson's own recipe. If anyone can decipher the writing, please share it below. (For more Ice Cream history, check out Miss Cellania's vintage overview).

"¢ What exactly is Ice Cream? And how does it differ from frozen yogurt, gelato and custard? By law, ice cream must contain 10% milkfat, the same as custard, which must also contain a certain percentage of egg yolk solids. Gelato contains more milk than cream and plenty of eggs and flavoring. Sherberts and sorbets contain little to no dairy products but far more sugar. Frozen yogurt, of course, contains cultured milk.

"¢ The ice cream cone was invented sometime in the early 20th century, although its exact origins are disputed. Still, the "cornucopia" made from a rolled waffle was made popular because of its availability at the St. Louis World's Fair, and has been dripping with melted goodness ever since.

"¢ Of course, there are many famous ice cream companies, though here are some facts you may not know. Before opening their store, Ben & Jerry took a $5 correspondence course from Penn State on how to make ice cream. (Take the Ben & Jerry's quiz here) Also, did you know Haagen Daz is not foreign? The company started in the Bronx.

"¢ For more interesting ice cream makers, check out some trendy LA ice cream shops, or read about Heartschallenger, an ice cream truck that visits concert venues

"¢ It should be of little surprise that Vanilla tops the lists as favorite flavor, but did you know Chocolate Peanut Butter tops the list of fattiest? Yum.

"¢ If you're a huge fan of Ice Cream and have money to burn, considering purchasing a $1000 sundae from Serendipity 3 in New York, topped with a 23-carat edible gold leaf. Do you think gold gives you indigestion? I know spending that much on a sundae would.

"¢ What would summer be without the ice cream truck? (An issue debated in one of my favorite shows of yore, the Adventures of Pete & Pete, when Mr. Tastee flees town). Despite Mayor Bloomberg's attempts to ban ice cream truck music in 2005 (music from ice cream trucks ranked 13th out of the 24 most bothersome noises in the city, more tolerable than car alarms and horns, but worse than bars and barking dogs), a compromise was reached that allowed for music, but only when the truck is in motion.

Two questions for you, my Flossy friends ... what's your favorite ice cream flavor (let's take an informal tally), and do you know of any fairly easy ice cream recipes?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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August 5, 2008 - 9:15am
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