I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like ice cream. This frozen sweet and creamy treat is said be enjoyed by folks since time immemorial and many have been claiming that they started it all.
During the time of Roman Emperor Nero, frozen desserts were luxury items. To get his fix for the chilled treat, Nero sends his slaves into bitter cold mountains to get the freshest snow which was then mixed with nectar, fruit pulp, and honey for flavor.
In China, the history of ice cream dates back to the T'ang period, as a specialty only the country's rulers can enjoy. King T'ang of Shang is said to keep ninety-four "ice men" under his employ to carry huge ice blocks from frozen lakes to the palace. The ice is used to make a concoction of koumiss (heated, fermented milk), flour, and camphor.
In the United States, the first written mention of ice cream can be found in a letter by Scottish colonist who admiringly described the ice cream and strawberry dessert Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen served at a dinner party in 1744. The first ice cream parlor in the US opened in New York City in 1776. In 1845, the hand-cranked freezer was invented, allowing Americans to make ice cream more easily at home.
Jacob Fussell a dairyman from Baltimore opened the first commercial ice cream factory in 1850. Fussell had a surplus of cream so he build an ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, and shipped it to Baltimore by train. Business boomed, and Fussell became the father of the wholesale ice cream industry.
Grocery stores didn't start selling ice cream until the 1930's, and by WWII, ice cream had become so popular that it turned into somewhat of an American symbol. Ice cream was great for troop morale, and in 1943, the U.S. Armed Forces were the world's largest ice cream manufacturers!
Among the most unusual flavors of ice cream ever manufactured are avocado, garlic, azuki bean, jalapeno, and pumpkin. Perhaps the weirdest of all: dill pickle ice cream , which was marketed to expectant mothers. As expected, sales of these flavors were disappointing.