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Of Sugar and Snow

A History of Ice Cream Making

Geraldine M. Quinzio

Publication Year: 2009

Was ice cream invented in Philadelphia? How about by the Emperor Nero, when he poured honey over snow? Did Marco Polo first taste it in China and bring recipes back? In this first book to tell ice cream's full story, Jeri Quinzio traces the beloved confection from its earliest appearances in sixteenth-century Europe to the small towns of America and debunks some colorful myths along the way. She explains how ice cream is made, describes its social role, and connects historical events to its business and consumption. A diverting yet serious work of history, Of Sugar and Snow provides a fascinating array of recipes, from a seventeenth-century Italian lemon sorbet to a twentieth-century American strawberry mallobet, and traces how this once elite status symbol became today's universally available and wildly popular treat.

Published by: University of California Press

Series: California Studies in Food and Culture


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

During the past few years, whenever I told people I was working on a book about ice cream, they invariably smiled. Then they told me their ice cream stories. Some described how they struggled to turn the crank of an old-fashioned ice cream maker on a summer afternoon, just so they could lick the dasher when the ice cream was ready. ...

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pp. xv-xvi

I am grateful to many individuals without whom, as the saying goes, this book could not have been written. They helped with translations, found books and illustrations for me, and read and corrected various drafts of my manuscript. ...

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One. Early Ices and Iced Creams

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pp. 1-25

A royal dinner in seventeenth-century Naples was a dazzling spectacle. The splendor of the décor complemented the magnificence of the foods, to the delight of the guests. Confectioners seized the opportunity to demonstrate their considerable talents and turned tabletops into showcases of their art. ...

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Two. Crème de la Cream

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pp. 26-49

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, France set the style in upper-class Europe an dining and in the making of ices and ice creams. In fact, the first book completely dedicated to ice cream was written by a Frenchman, Monsieur (first name unknown) Emy, and published in Paris in 1768. ...

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Three. Ingenious Foreigners and Others

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pp. 50-74

Italians were celebrated for their ices, and, in turn, they celebrated ices. Italian poets and novelists wrote paeans to ices. Italian confectioners and even nuns delighted in fooling diners by sending ices to the table disguised as slices of turkey, bunches of asparagus, and lush, ripe peaches. ...

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Four. The Land of Ice Cream

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pp. 75-102

England lagged behind the continent in ice cream making, and America lagged behind England. In America, until well after the Revolutionary War, ice cream was a rarity. Pastry chefs and confectioners were few and far between. Ice for freezing was not always available and was difficult to store, even for those who had ice houses. ...

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Five. Screaming for Ice Cream

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pp. 103-128

When ice cream peddlers began appearing on city streets in the early nineteenth century, children were no doubt delighted. Adults had a more ambiguous reaction; initially welcoming, their response quickly turned sour. Before long, they questioned the quality of the ice cream, the cleanliness of the vendor, ...

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Six. Women’s Work

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pp. 129-154

In 1850, Godey’s Lady’s Book called ice cream “one of the necessary luxuries of life” and proclaimed that “a party, or a social entertainment, could hardly be thought of without this indispensable requisition.” The writer was trying to persuade readers to buy “a recent valuable invention, in the shape of an ‘ice cream freezer and beater.’ ” ...

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Seven. Modern Times

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pp. 155-179

At the turn of the twentieth century, ice cream was one of the country’s best-loved desserts, and the cone was about to become its constant partner. The ice cream cone had originated in the nineteenth century, but it didn’t become a popular street food until after the 1904 World’s Fair in Saint Louis. ...

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Eight. Ice Cream for Breakfast

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pp. 180-207

When Howard Deering Johnson was a child in Quincy, Massachusetts, he loved the strawberry ice cream his mother made on Sunday afternoons in the summer. She used fresh cream from the family’s cows and luscious ripe strawberries, and he never forgot the flavor. ...

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Epilogue. Industry and Artistry

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pp. 208-214

Today, the ice cream business is a vast global enterprise. In fact, it’s so big that it’s not called the ice cream business anymore. It’s the frozen dessert business. It includes ice creams, low-fat and nonfat desserts (formerly known as ice milks), water ices, sherbets, sorbets, frozen juice bars, frozen yogurts, gelati, and more. ...


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pp. 215-238


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pp. 239-260


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pp. 261-279

E-ISBN-13: 9780520942967
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520265912

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: California Studies in Food and Culture