Take Your Licks
Abbi Casper, Ivy Fielding and Jade Fielding

When juicy ripe peaches come rolling in, I flash back to hot Saturday afternoons in July and August in South Carolina. 

I see our ice cream churn’s drum brimming with Grandmother’s frozen custard mix into which Gramps has chunked handfuls of scandalously sweet peaches, their nectar so abundant it drips down his wrists to his toes.  Fathers and uncles arrange the churn’s drum and components just-so, before burying it in ice and rock salt.  My cousins and I crank away with dasher-licking rights once the custard hardens.  Everyone had a job to do in the creation of this food of the gods. 

While we don’t know whom to thank for ice cream’s invention, history tells us Alexander the Great sent his men to the mountains to fetch snow and ice.  He blended it with nectar and honey for an exotic treat.  By the first century A.D., Roman Emperor Nero sent his men to the mountains for snow, which he flavored with fruit and juices.  

A millennium later, Marco Polo came back from the Far East with a recipe that resembles today’s sherbet.  Historians believe that confection evolved into ice cream, or cream ice as it was originally called, during the 1500s.  Ice cream was the food of queens and kings until the 1600s, when it became available to
the masses.

It found its way to America in the mid-1700s.  President George Washington spent about $200 on ice cream the summer of 1790 (this could explain his wooden teeth).  Around 1800 technology provided insulated ice houses.  With the refrigerator’s invention, ice cream became a staple in American households.

In 1984 President Reagan wrote a government proclamation designating the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day.  He said ice cream is fun, delicious, nutritious, and it supports the dairy industry, thus America’s economy, with about $3.5 billion in annual sales.

Jerry Moore of Kilwin’s Chocolate and Ice Cream sums it up brilliantly, “Ice cream simply makes people feel good.”

But, here’s the real scoop: it’s cheaper than therapy.