The Curious History Of Ice Cream Just Might Make Your Brain Freeze

Ice cream is a sweet treat that’s enjoyed by both adults and children for dessert (or really any time of the day). The cool confection has been around so long that even your great grandma probably has fond memories of chasing after an ice cream cart during the dog days of summer.

From Emperor Nero’s flavored snow to Thomas Jefferson’s infamous recipe, people have been screaming for ice cream since forever but surprisingly, ice cream’s true origins remain unclear. Here’s the scoop on what we do know about the history of ice cream.

5th Century Persian Sherbet Is The Earliest Evidence

circa 1820: A man selling drinks of sherbet in the street.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The earliest iterations of ice cream date as far back as 400 B.C. Persian royals indulged in a cool concoction of pudding-like syrups that were blended with snow, rose water, and vermicelli. Flavors were mixed up by adding various fruits and spices.

Figures from B.C. times who were known to enjoy ice cream-like treats included King Solomon from the Bible and Alexander the Great. He was said to enjoy snow flavored with honey and nectar.