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Fascinating facts about

In the year AD64, the Roman Emperor Nero's best-kept secret was his recipe for a delicious dessert made from snow and fruit juices .

Hundreds of years later Italian explorer, Marco Polo, returned from his long trip to China with a recipe for a kind of ice-cream made from milk.

It wasn't long before all the Kings and Queens of Europe were tucking into ice-cream. England's King Charles I (who died in 1649) loved it so much be bribed a French ice-cream maker to produce special ice-cream just for him. Like Nero, he tried to make sure the recipe was kept secret, but somehow it leaked out (or should we say dripped?)

On 17 May 1784, George Washington, first American President, made an important decision. He bought an ice-cream machine!

There were no fridges in those days, so it was just as well he didn't have to make his own. It took hours and hours of shaking before the mixture of milk or cream, eggs and flavouring hardened.

Then in 1848 along came a brainy lady named Nancy Johnson. They put a crank on her bucket and hey presto - a new ice-cream machine!

Now that it was much easier to make ice-cream it didn't take long before street sellers were offering the delicious treat to anyone who was strolling around the parks or towns.

Ice-cream sodas were created quite by accident in 1850 and the first ice-cream factory was built in 1851.

Sunday became the popular day to go out and buy ice-cream, so some bright seller invented the ice-cream sundae (carefully changing the name a little so the churches would not be upset).

Until 1904 ice-cream was always sold in a dish and you needed a spoon to eat it with. And then the ice-cream cone was invted - again quite by accident.

Charles Menches was selling ice-cream at an American fair when he ran out of dishes. A Syrian friend nearby was selling crisp, thin pastried called zalabia. Charles rolled up a zalabia, scooped ice-cream on top and hey presto again - the ice-cream cone was born!

Now, every year in every country millions of gallons of ice-cream are made and eaten.

As taken from Longman Australia 1995 ... The Three Rs 1 (may be photocopied for classroom use.)