CHILLING WITH "THE REAL DEAL" I scream, you scream, we all scream for …Evander Holyfield!
One of the most famous boxers in history paid us a visit last week, just in time for National Ice Cream month!
Mr. Holyfield, also known as "The Real Deal" visited our River Street store, where he enjoyed an ice cream cone and some peanut brittle. We were beyond thrilled to have the world's only undisputed champ of both the cruiser and heavyweight divisions — and the only four-time heavyweight champ — in our presence. Thank you, Mr. Holyfield!
Speaking of ice cream, here's some scoop:
One cold, hard fact about ice cream is that no-one has ever been able to pinpoint when or where it was invented. Sure, lots of early historical figures enjoyed ancient versions of it as far back as the second-century B.C. Guys like Alexander the Great, King Solomon and Roman Emperor Nero were all rumored to have enjoyed eating snow mixed with various fruit, honey and nectars. The creamy part of it, though, is where early history gets fuzzy.
It seems the Italians are the ones with the most credit for ice cream's earlier origins. Marco Polo is said to have brought back a sherbet recipe when he returned to Italy from the Far East, which later evolved into ice cream in the 16th century,according to the International Dairy Farmer's Association. During the following century, the treat was known as "Cream Ice" in England and was only enjoyed by aristocrats, namely Charles I. It caught on in France in 1553, after Italian Catherine de Medici married Henry II. The general public finally got a taste in 1660 after Sicilian Procopio introduced at Café Procope, the first café in Paris
Ice cream made its way to the New World in 1777, and was enjoyed by President George Washington, who owned a cream machine for ice, as well as two pewter ice cream pots. He's said to have spent $200 one year on it — the equivalent of about $4,000 today. But because of the difficulty in making it, ice cream was available for mostly the elite until 1800, when insulated ice houses were invented. Soon after that, it became a major industry.
Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell knew a good thing when he tasted it, and built his fortune on the world's first commercial ice cream factory in 1851. By 1896, it was wildly popular, and another Italian — Italo Marching — invented the ice cream cone in New York City. The following year, the waffle cone was invented at the St. Louis World Fair after an ice-cream merchant ran out of plates and borrowed a zalabi (a Syrian pastry) to serve it.
By the time the late 19th century rolled around, soda fountain shops had become popular in America. Ice cream sodas were soon the rage, only to be frowned upon by religious groups. In the late 1890s, ice cream sodas were prohibited to be sold on Sundays because they were considered impious. So ice cream merchants figured a way around by inventing the ice cream sundae, which could be legally enjoyed on the Sabbath. Originally known as the "ice cream Sunday", they even had to change the spelling to appease the religious critics.
Even with its Sunday critics, ice cream continued to grow more and more popular. It was a huge symbol of morale in World War II, when it was readily devoured by hungry troops. In fact, in 1943, the U.S. Armed Forces were the world's largest ice cream manufacturer!
Today, over 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream is produced each year in the United States, contributing more than $39 billion to the national economy, along with nearly 200,000 ice-cream related jobs. Here at River Street Sweets, we sell homemade ice cream and gelato in all kinds of delicious flavors. Our favorite? Praline, of course! What new ice cream flavor would YOU like to taste at River Street Sweets? Send your suggestions to JenM@riverstreetsweets.com. And in the meantime, stay sweet!