The ingredients in ice cream can change depending on the exact flavor you are eating; however, there are several ingredients that are found in just about every flavor of ice cream. These ingredients include sugar, ice, and cream. There are some varieties of ice cream that do not use any dairy products at all, so something else has to be substituted for cream. There are other ingredients that might be included. For example, if you are eating a fruit flavor of ice cream, then you should expect fresh fruit to be in the ice cream as well. Or, if you are eating chocolate ice cream, then you should expect to have chocolate as an ingredient in the ice cream.
Even though there is some debate regarding where ice cream came from, this delectable dessert has a history that can be traced back thousands of years. For example, in ancient China, they used to flavor crushed ice with fruit juice. This is widely believed to be the precursor to ice cream. In addition, there are signs that people who lived in ancient Egypt also produced variations of ice cream thousands of years ago. They placed the clay trays filled with water on straw, allowed them to freeze overnight, and then flavored the ice. Even though these are not exactly the same as ice cream, they are precursors to the popular dessert we know and love today.
Even though these are precursors to ice cream, they did not use cream. The first archaeological evidence of cream playing a role in this desert dates back to approximately 400 BC in the Persian Empire. There, they used to combine vermicelli with frozen rose water, fruits, and safron. This was a delectable dessert that was mostly reserved for the royal family; however, there were other people in the Persian Empire who tried to make something similar. Even though this was not developed until thousands of years after China and Egypt tried something similar, it is a closer relative of the ice cream we know today.
Ice cream began to spread to the rest of the world following the age of exploration. For example, Marco Polo traveled to China during the 13th century. It is believed that Marco Polo learned how the Chinese made their ice cream during his journey. Then, he brought the skills back with him when he returned to Italy. This made it easier for the popular dessert to spread throughout the rest of Europe and parts of Africa. Eventually, as European explorers began to colonize North America, the desert spread to North America using this route. Of course, every country has put its own twist on ice cream, which is why there are so many flavors of today. Every food has its history, and ice cream is no different.
Although the origins haven't been proven, most believe that Marco Polo brought the knowledge of how to make ice cream with him to Italy after he visited China and learned about the practice.