Ice cream - summer's dessert

sour cream ice cream

June is Dairy Month in the U.S. Dairy month is celebrated proudly in the Upper Midwest, where states like Wisconsin (known as America's Dairyland) have a long tradition of small family dairy farms. Dairy encompasses such a broad array of foods that it would be nearly impossible to catalog all of them in one blog post, so today we'll concentrate on a popular summertime dairy product: ice cream.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the origins of ice cream can be traced as far back as the second century B.C. and flavored ices enjoyed by Alexander the Great. A thousand years later, traveler extraordinaire Marco Polo "returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet. Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century." 

By the 1700s, ice cream was a popular treat for the elite in the U.S. and Europe. The invention of ice houses in the 1800s, coupled with techological advancements, led to a boom in ice cream production and soon the treat was enjoyed by people of all social classes. With the creation of the ice cream cone in the early 20th century, ice cream became portable. It was also "an edible morale symbol during World War II." Americans celebrated the end of the war with ice cream once dairy rations were lifted. 

The sweet reward is now much easier to enjoy at home, thanks to the proliferation of automated home ice cream machines that replaced the hand-cranked units of yesteryear. Few things are comparable to home-churned ice cream. Making it at home allows variations that you won't find in any store, with unsurpassed quality to boot.

Naturally, the EYB Library features thousands of ice cream recipes. Here are a few  highly-rated or new to the Library recipes:

David Lebovitz's Vanilla ice cream
Orange-cardamom ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery
Orangette's Fennel ice cream
Double chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Joy the Baker
Savannah buttermint ice cream from Jeni Britton Bauer
Easy homemade ice cream without a machine - whipped cream method
Lemon kefir ice cream from Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Desoulier
Roasted bluberry crème fraîche ice cream from Savory Simple by Jennifer Farley
Dark chocolate cremeaux with Thai tea ice cream, coconut, lucuma & amaranth from the newly-indexed Food Arts Magazine by Veronica Laramie

What is your favorite ice cream? (I'll start - my favorite is basil ice cream, followed closely by sour cream ice cream.)

Photo by Darcie Boschee

2 Comments

  • achookwoman  on  6/26/2014 at 8:21 AM

    I usually make several different ice cream when we have visitors. The most popular are Licorice, Rum and Raisin, peppermint crisp with Creme de Menthe . I recently made Lemon Kefir ice cream which is particularly refreshing in summer.

  • boardingace  on  7/8/2014 at 8:40 PM

    My favorite flavor is Mint Oreo and a half-dozen other flavors from the Ben & Jerry's cookbook. I love homemade ice cream, and it's especially appreciated by guests who usually don't get it at home. I've inspired several people to start making it, though :)

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