ABC to XYZ in Foods: Icy cold treats help keep the summer cool

One popular modern ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. File photo
The origins of iced tea can be tracked back to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. File photo

ICED TEA – Can trace its conception back to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. As a gimmick, a tea plantation owner was going to hand out sample cups of hot tea. But, that summer was so hot, fair goers did not want to consume a hot drink. Someone came up with the bright idea to place ice in the hot tea. This drink became the hit of the 1904 fair.

Yet, previous records of an 1890 reunion in the west indicated gallons of iced tea were consumed. What made iced tea a rarity in those days was ice was at a premium. Not everyone had an ice cube maker or freezer in his or her home.

If your iced tea appears cloudy, it doesn’t affect the taste, only the appearance. If you want your iced tea to be clear, look for tea blended especially for iced tea, or cool hot tea to room temperature before adding ice. Everyone seems to have their recipe for iced tea that meets their taste.

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Tea for iced tea should be made stronger to allow for melt-down from the ice. I savor a good glass of iced tea; if made with good tea, it needs no sweetener.

Not that long ago iced tea was a summer drink. Today it is a cold beverage that we drink year-round.

I consider myself an iced tea expert and believe that I was a forerunner in drinking it year-round. I am able to tell you in a snap if the tea is fresh brewed or a mix. The rest of the world is familiar with iced tea, but most countries still drink their tea hot.

ICE CREAM – Can be traced back to B.C. (Before Christ). The Chinese created ice and milk concoctions before ice cream made its way to Europe. The Arabs were the first to add sugar and the first to make ice cream commercially.

Once again, the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis contributed to the popularity of ice cream. Earlier in 1904, the ice cream cone was developed, making handling and eating this treat easy. There were about 50 ice cream stands opened for business at the fair. It is believed that several people or companies invented ice cream at the same time.

Before modern refrigeration, ice cream was a special treat. Hand cranking and churning took hours, and it required rock salt and precious ice, as most was made in the summer.

In 1926, the freezing process became commercial, and many people purchased ice cream instead of making their own. With all of this came a wide variety of flavors. Over the years and still today, the favorite flavors are chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, as well as Neapolitan, a combination of all three. Recently, a flavor called cookie dough ice cream has gained popularity. On the market today are home electric ice cream-making machines.

Ice cream is a good buy and a lot easier than making ice cream at home. A good way to serve ice cream is to take commercial ice cream and soften, mix in favorite fruits, nuts and other stuff, and refreeze.

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