HAVE AN ICE CREAM ?
Seriously! Try it. The soothing cold, a kickback from the chocolate taste coupled with the sweet crunch of the choco chips that Baskin Robbins so perfectly makes. It is the closest to what bliss is , and like Dominic Torretto from the Fast and Furious series who lives his life half a mile, we too from our childhood have experienced that satisfaction even if it is only for a few minutes.
Ice Cream; a literal translation of cream froze at below room temperatures using ice as the primary medium has taken various forms of dishes from the time of its inception to what we usually see in this century. An ice cream like food is thought to have been considered a delicacy in Imperial China in the years of 618 to 697 AD, made of buffalo milk, flour and camphor.
Now, sit and relax in your chair as I take you through the History of Ice Cream…. an universal standard of feeling happy.
A LICK DOWN HISTORY LANE
The present aesthetic of an ice cream is considered to have been introduced into the commercial world during the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom. The idea behind a cold-flavoured dessert is traced back to the King Tang of Shang who had his men use ice brought down from the mountains to cool buffalo milk, flour and camphor to create the first ice cream like dish. Still in China, another kind of ice-cream was invented in China about 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow.
Making our way to the European continent, the Roman Empire is said to have deployed slaves to bring back ice from the mountains present in their territory which was then flavored and served as an early form of ‘ice cream’.
Marco Polo is considered to be the one to introduce ice cream to Italy after his journey through China.
Though the practice of cooling took place after the 16th century in Europe, the action of cooling the ‘kulfi’ remained mainstream in the deserts of the Persian Mughal societies.
The first recipe in French dates back to 1674, in the composition of a Nicholas Lemery. Though the expected texture of smooth and creamy was not achieved by the recipe outlined, it marked the beginning of an immortal desert in France.
IT’s RISE TO POPULARITY
Ice Cream remained a treat for the societal elite, well into the mid — nineteenth century. To eat ice cream, one had to have access to an ice well for ensuring the signature cold texture was retained. The Mediterranean nations saw its ordinary people securing access to this desert well before the European nations, in the eighteenth century. In the nation of industrialization; England saw ice cream become affordable and popular when a Swiss emigrant, Carlo Gaitti set up the first stand in 1851. To counter the issue of keeping the ice cream in a cool environment, he created an ice well with ice he cut from the canal under a contract with the Regent’s Canal Company. Following the success, he began importing ice from Norway.
The Queen of Ice in England did much of the work in popularizing ice cream as a fashionable middle class desert. Agnes Marshall, wrote four cooking books; including recipes to make ice cream, gave cooking lectures and was the first person to suggest using liquid nitrogen for the cooling process.
Mrs. Marshall also sought to make every part of the ice cream edible. Which meant that the focus now turned to the cone. She prepared a recipe using almonds and baked in an oven, rather than pressed between irons for making the cornets (cone).
Ice Cream became the popular dessert we know, in the 20th century, with the creation of low cost refrigeration. This allowed for stalls and shops to open in every street corner across the world, ensuring that everyone has tasted this simple, yet marvelous desert for once.
The concept of a frozen dessert is not only about ice cream. The nation of Italy, calls their frozen dessert; Gelato. With lower quantities of fat compared to a standard ice cream and a product of Argentinian influences. India remains the world’s largest producer of ice cream, and almost in its entirety is consumed domestically. Sorbetes; a Phillipine version of an ice cream sold from a cart drawn by peddlers.
The United States of America, holds the first place where a person eats over 23 litres of ice cream per year. Followed by Australians and New Zealanders.
THE USUAL RECIPE
The recipe of making ice cream differs greatly when its various types are taken into consideration. But for now, we will focus on the ice cream scoops that are sold at your neighborhood ice cream stands.
Firstly the ingredients are weighed out and mixed together, following this the mix is pasteurized (to heat at high temperature) to kill off any harmful germs. Now, the mixture is homogenized; the fat globules in the milk become smaller allowing for the maker to ensure smoother ice cream, which is easier to whip and keeps its shape for longer periods of time.
The mix is then left for a minimum of four hours to ensure crystal formation. Any flavours, fruit purees, or colours are added at this point. After this, the mix is pumped through a special barrel freezer which freezes some of the water in the ice-cream and whips air into it at the same time.
Finally, The ice cream is then packaged and put into a blast freezer, where more of the water in the ice-cream is frozen to make it harder.
WHY DO WE LOVE IT SO MUCH?
Sugar. Fat. A duo that no one is ever capable of saying no to. This is what applies in the case of Ice Creams as well. The certain type of fat present here, called butterfat, is a tricky component which is used to determine if the composition is an ice cream or not. To be called “ice cream,” a product must contain at least 10 percent butterfat (from milk, cream, or butter); while premium brands tend to hover around 18 percent.
Dairy products contain the protein called casein. Protein fragments of casein, called casomorphins, are derived from the digestion of milk produces an opiate like effect, i.e. an addictive effect. This result is said to mimic the drug-like effect of morphine. The difference lies in the fact that, by consuming ice cream, you will not feel drugged but, through the experience of eating the ice cream tastes all the better.
As the sugar and fat melt on your tongue, dopamine and chemicals that increase your happiness level get activated. This is because the combination of high fat, calorie foods trigger the pleasure centers in the brain. The addiction can be summed up by the fact that, the more one consumes ice cream =, the more the person is able to feel the feeling of happiness.
EAT IT BEFORE IT MELTS
Ice Cream. An universal metric of happiness, sometimes even dubbed as the food for the ‘sad’. It has its own merits, as the composition does make some feel alright even after a bad day.
Get a cone, enjoy it, savour it from your roadside peddler. Or, wait for the signature ice cream van that comes down your street once a week and make sure you have pocket money to spare. Wait !!! Before you leave me, the only condition you have to meet is to eat it before it melts.