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Which of the US Presidents Popularized Ice Cream?

The origin of Ice Cream reaches back as far as the second century. There is no specific origin or inventor but we do know of people who enjoyed these icy treats. But which found father popularized ice cream in the United States?

Thomas Jefferson loved ice cream so much, that he crafted an 18-step recipe for vanilla ice cream. The recipe is still kept in the Library of Congress. What was amazing is, modern freezers were not yet invented in his time.

Ice Cream in the United States

The first official documentation of ice cream in the United States was through a letter written in 1744. This was written by the Maryland Governor, William Bladen.

The first advertisement for ice cream was published in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777. The ad was made by the confectioner Philip Lenzi when he announced that ice cream was available every day.

In 1790, President George Washington spent about $200 on ice cream. Later on, records show that after his passing, there were two pewter ice cream pots in his possession.

But the most popular fact on ice cream in the United States was the 18-step recipe made by Thomas Jefferson. It was said that his recipe seemed to have resembled modern-day Baked Alaska, but nonetheless, this recipe was considered important enough to store in the Library of Congress. (Source: International Dairy Foods Association)

How was Ice Cream Made Back Then?

One might be wondering, how was ice cream made back when freezers were not invented yet. The concept was simple, but the execution was quite complicated.

Here’s is Jefferson’s secret: Winters in Rivana River. He was able to enjoy ice cream all throughout the year because he had people harvest ice from the Rivanna River during the wintertime. This was then taken to the Monticello ice house in 62 wagons. Among other things, the Monticello Ice House also stored meat and butter. (Source: Monticello)

What is Thomas Jefferson’s Recipe?

Visitors who regularly visited Jefferson spoke highly of the ice cream served.

Among other things, ice-creams were produced in the form of balls of the frozen material inclosed in covers of warm pastry, exhibiting a curious contrast, as if the ice had just been taken from the oven.

Anonymous Visitor


2 Bottles of Good Cream

6 Yolks of Eggs

1/2 Pound of Sugar

1 Stick of Vanilla


  1. Mix the yolks and sugar in one container.
  2. Heat the cream in a casserole and add the stick of vanilla.
  3. When the cream is getting closer to a boil, take it off the heat and pour it gently into the mixture of eggs and sugar.
  4. Stir well and place the mixture back on the flame stirring it constantly to prevent it from sticking to the casserole.
  5. When it is about to boil, take it off the heat and strain through a towel.
  6. Place the mixture in the Sabottiere then set it in ice with salt for about an hour before serving.

(Source: Monticello)

What is a Sabottiere?

The Sabottiere is basically an ice cream maker. It is the inner portion of the canister with a crank to turn it. Turning the Sabottiere for 10 minutes should sufficiently make the ice cream. (Source: Monticello)

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