Ice Cream—True or False?
Many myths and half-truths are floating around about ice cream. Test your ice cream knowledge by deciding whether each of the following is true or false:
1. Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England, helped to develop the formula for soft-serve ice cream before she entered politics while working as a chemist in the food science industry.
2. Soft-serve ice cream was born on Memorial Day in 1934 when an ice cream salesman broke down and had to sell his melting ice cream, which was a big hit.
3. Modern-day ice cream was accidentally discovered in 1782 by Martha Washington, wife of the first U.S. president, who left a bowl of cream on the back steps of her home one night, and in the morning found it had hardened into ice cream.
4. The infamous Roman emperor Nero had slaves bring ice from the mountains so he could enjoy chilled desserts by pouring fruit juice and honey over the ice.
5. Ice cream sundaes were invented in the late 1800s in New York to circumvent the law prohibiting the serving of ice cream on Sunday, hence the name.
6. Eskimo pies were originally called “I Scream Bars.”
7. Explorer Marco Polo was the first person to bring ice cream to the New World, bringing the recipe from China.
8. The ice cream cone was invented in 1904 during the St. Louis Exposition when an ice cream vendor ran out of bowls and substituted rolled up waffles instead.
9. The ice cream sandwich was invented by Earl of Sandwich, in England.
Answers to True or False
1. Probably false. While Thatcher did work as a chemist for a company that developed soft serve ice cream, her actual role in developing the product was likely minimal, if at all.
2. Likely true, but may not be the first.
4. Probably true.
5. Possibly true, but there are several other equally compelling stories about the origin of the sundae.
7. Story likely true, but may not be the first.
8. Story likely true, but may not be the first.
9. False. Don’t mistake the ice cream sandwich for the actual sandwich, which was invented by the Earl of Sandwich.
Note: If you are concerned about the ambiguity of these answers, now you know why ice cream historians are still arguing about the origins of ice cream!