The exact origins of ice cream are unknown. Shannon Jackson Arnold wrote in “Everybody Loves Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop on America’s Favorite Treat,” that “legends about ice cream’s early history abound: Marco Polo brought back the recipe for ice cream from China. Italian Catherine de Medici introduced the treat to France when she married King Henry II.” Ice cream became popular after the American Revolution, when the Americans had continued contact with the French and Thomas Jefferson became particularly fond of it as U.S. Ambassador to France. The Library of Congress possesses a copy of a recipe for vanilla ice cream used by Thomas Jefferson written in Jefferson’s own hand. President George Washington allocated a total of $200 on ice cream purchases during the hot summer of 1790.
Americans are the No. 1 consumers of ice cream worldwide, eating 48 pints of ice cream per person every year on average. New Zealand comes in at number 2.
Sam Mason, of New York City's Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., shares his tips for composing a classic summertime treat -- the ice cream sundae.
Watch Tips for a Perfect Ice Cream Sundae.
Photo: Alex Scott for The Wall Street Journal.