The Greeks and Romans used lumps of Sicily's Mt. Etna's snow to chill their wine and the
Arabs used it to chill their sarbat, a sweet fruit syrup that they once drank diluted with ice
water. The evolution from sarbat and water chilled in a container of ice to a granita was
inevitable. Sicily became the home of ices as far as the Western world is concerned. The
flavors most common to the western part of Sicily are those that by now are most famous
elsewhere in Italy and in America as well, lemon and coffee.
For thousands of years people saved ice to satisfy their desire for cool drinks. The
earliest icehouses existed in Mesopotamia, beside the Euphrates River, about 4,000
years ago and the rich used the ice to cool their wines. Alexander the Great dug pits and
filled them with snow so that his army could have cool wine in the summer.
Roman emperors had ice brought from the mountains, and the kings of Egypt had snow
shipped to them from Lebanon. Easterners, especially in the Turkish Empire, frequently
consumed iced fruit drinks, and the people of Greece sold snow in the markets of Athens
from as early as the fifth century BC.
Water ices came to in Europe at about the same time in the second half of the 17th
century as ice cream did. The same technique is used for both products. It has been
suggested that ices were made much earlier in China. This seems not impossible, and
would be difficult to disprove.
Water ices may be served as a stand-alone refreshment, as a dessert, or as a means of
refreshing the palate about halfway through a meal of many courses like the Italian
sorbetto or the Spanish sorbete, both belong to the sherbet group. Another Italian term,
granita, refers to a water ice with a more granular texture than the standard kind."
|The following is a partial list of ice cream-like frozen desserts and snacks:
Raspberry sorbet. Ais kacang: a dessert in Malaysia and Singapore made from shaved
ice, syrup, and boiled red bean and topped with evaporated milk. Sometimes,
other small ingredients like raspberries and durians are added in too.
Dondurma: Turkish ice cream, made of salep and mastic resin
Frozen custard: at least 10% milk fat and at least 1.4% egg yolk and much less
air beaten into it, similar to Gelato and known to Italians as Semifreddo.
Frozen yogurt: a low fat or fat free alternative made with yogurt
Gelato: an Italian frozen dessert having a lower milk fat content than
ice cream and stabilised with ingredients such as eggs.
Ice milk: less than 10% milk fat and lower sweetening content, once marketed
as "ice milk" but now sold as low-fat ice cream in the United States.
Ice pop (or lolly): frozen fruit puree, fruit juice, or flavoured
sugar wateron a stick or in a flexible plastic sleeve.
Kulfi: Believed to have been introduced to South Asia by the Mughal conquest
in the 16th century; its origins trace back to the cold snacks
and desserts of Arab and Mediterranean cultures.
Mellorine: non-dairy, with vegetable fat substituted for milk fat
Parevine: Kosher non-dairy frozen dessert established in 1969 in New York
Sherbet: 1-2% milk fat and sweeter than ice cream.
Sorbet or Granita: fruit puree with no dairy products
Snow cones, made from balls of crushed ice topped with sweet syrup served in a paper
cone, are consumed in many parts of the world. The most common places to
find snow cones in the United States are at amusement parks.
Maple toffee: A popular springtime treat in maple-growing areas is maple toffee, where
maple syrup boiled to a concentrated state is poured over fresh snow congealing
in a toffee-like mass, and then eaten from a wooden stick.
Now in today's world, where we would be without ice? We use it to keep our food cold on
picnics, we make our beloved ice teas and coffees with it and not to forget the wide
varieties of alcoholic beverages from beer to that before and after dinner martini and that
ever so sacred scotch on the rocks.
Therapeutically, ice has saved many a severed limb so it could be reattached. We apply it
to an injury to prevent swelling and help calm down that hang over headache it assisted
us to get the night before.
I could go on and on about how the utilization of ice has changed the world, but this would
just bring on another gigantic "Brain Freeze".