Secret, Italy, Paris, Drink & ice, Drink & snow, Composition, Extract 1
A very ancient secret… The secret of ice cream was transmitted by the Chinese to the Arabs, before Christian times. Western travelers were enraptured with and feasted on Arab «sorbets», a drink made with fruits and cooled with crushed ice.
During Antiquity, Greeks and Romans took delight with diced vegetables and fruit purees to which they added honey and cooled with snow.
Ice cream and Italy In the 13th century, Marco Polo brought back to Italy a new system of cooling from the Orient. It didn’t need any ice, but it used a mixture of water and saltpeter. The mixture had to circulate around the dish containing the preparation it was to cool. With this system, ice usage begin to increase in Italy.
Catherine de’ Medici, when she became married to Henri II, brought ice cream, and also artichokes, to the French Court.
Coffee house in Paris Francesco Procopio dei Colteli, an Italian from Palermo opened a coffee house in Paris in 1686 and to taste his ice creams and sorbets became the ultimate experience. This house, now the Procope restaurant, still exists today, on number 13, Ancienne Comédie Street (ancient comedy) in Paris.
Drink à la glace (ice) or à la neige (snow) In France, to imitate the Spanish and Italians, the fashion on aristocratic tables was to drink cold wine and champagne. Previously, wine and champagne were cooled in well water and they added some of this water to the wine before drinking it. But with this new fashion, they added instead some crushed ice or snow to wine or champagne before drinking it.
At the end of the 16th century, some doctors opposed this practice and recommended plunging these beverages into an ice bucket.
In 1878, Ch. Tellier invented the first « cupboard to conserve cold« , the ancestor of the refrigerator, and the idea was modernized in 1929 by the invention of Clarence Birds’Eye. Today, the kitchen equipment sellers are very happy, electricity is costly, and when a breakdown of the electric circuit happens, all your food is ruined. This process has a name: progress. Eventually, if you think that maybe you’re going the wrong way, get to know simple living and less growth…
Composition An ice cream, or a iced cream, contains milk, sour cream, sugar, fruits or flowers. We can add eggs too. A syruped ice cream (in French, sorbet in English) contains sugar and a flavor with water or milk.
Depending your taste, you can add: biscuit, liquor, sugar sprinkles, Chantilly cream…., the list is long, maybe infinite, because loving good food and imagination go well together.
An organic ice cream, made with organic ingredients, has an incomparable taste which will stay in your mouth for a pleasantly long time.
Extract 1 The Murder of Her Highness Serenissima « Catarina Lanzi, born Pellegrini, drank her chocolate, mixing with it, among other things, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and a little anise to brush winds away. She will be swollen from eating too many cherries and drinking iced water. Suddenly, she feels frozen herself…. » Gabrielle Wittkop, Ed. Verticale / Le Seuil, Paris, 2001, p.27.