Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Of Sugar and Snow by Jeri Quinzio

One day, while browsing the library with my mom and bro, I ran across this book. It's supposed to be a history of ice-cream, so of course I borrowed it. I would have borrowed it even if it were a 1000 page monster. But it wasn't, and I was able to bring it with me on a trip. In fact, I actually finished this book on the train, and my conclusion - ice cream lovers, this is for you.

It's basically a very quick history of ice-cream, but with tons of recipes. I don't know how feasible they are, but I suppose if you already have the habit of collecting antique stuff, I think it'd appeal to you. I quite liked reading the recipes, but I doubt I'd make any of them.

Also, Butter Ice-Cream was also a thing. If anyone tries it, let me know how it tastes (and if your arteries clog immediately).

But basically, ice-cream was seen as this really expensive treat, since it was hard to get ice. And the ice-industry used to be people getting natural ice (like the opening of Frozen), and then storing them the whole year round in cellars of some sort. And some people used to believe ice-cream was bad, but ice-cream is ice-cream so people ate them anyway. Now imagine this haphazard summary, but in a much more coherent form, and properly charted across the ages, and you have this book.

Personally, I wouldn't have minded, in fact would have preferred it, if the book spent more time on the various fascinating people involved in the creation of ice-cream (Any history scholars want to write that as a non-fiction series?). It felt like the first few hundred years went by so fast, and that most of the history focused on the American history of ice-ream. That was a bit weird for me, since I would think that the ice-cream in Europe would have continued evolving as America's ice-cream evolved. Maybe with their own varieties or something. Especially considering where ice-cream came from.

Overall, this short and sweet book is a succinct introduction to the delicious cold treat we all like to scream for. I would have preferred to read a more detailed history, but I guess there are other ice-cream history books written for this purpose. This seems to be more for the beginner ice-cream historian (like me), to whet their appetite for more.

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