As my readers know, I’m blogging about 5 new products Uncle Harry’s Ice Cream Cakes is launching in July for National Ice Cream Month. I revealed our first new dessert, the Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Roll last week and the Strawberry Ice Cream Roll this week.
I had blogged that launching the Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Roll in time for the 4th of July was appropriate because the Peanut Butter Cup is truly an American invention. Well, it turns out, strawberries and ice cream are too.
While strawberries were around Europe long before the first settler discovered the new world, the European strawberry plant wasn’t a prolific producer and it’s berry was fairly small. The larger strawberry everyone enjoys today is American – north and south.
The first American strawberry introduced to Europe was found in Virginia. The plant was so abundant in America that Native Americans didn’t bother cultivating it. It grew wherever there was an open field. While it was a great strawberry, it still wasn’t the modern strawberry. That took a bit of matchmaking with a Chilean plant.
Prized for its large berry, the Chilean strawberry was brought to France in the 1700s where it met the Virginian variety. Since France is known for romance, it didn’t take long for these two strawberry plants to make a connection and produce an offspring. It had its South American mother’s berries and its North American father’s rich yield. However impressive that union was, what came next was nothing short of a delicacy to 18th-century taste buds.
The first recorded use of strawberries with ice cream can be attributed to Maryland’s colonial era governor, William Bladen. When dignitaries visited Maryland in the 1700’s, Governor Bladen served a special treat — ice cream with strawberries and milk. I don’t know what his politics were, but based on this one invention alone, he must have been one heck of a governor.
Come to think of it, we should have probably called our Strawberry Ice Cream Roll the Bladen Ice Cream Roll to honor this great man. Perhaps I’ll bring it up in the next marketing meeting.