These days, getting ice cream is as simple as ordering a cone from the local parlor or grabbing a carton from the supermarket. This hasn’t always been the case. Ice cream was once a delicacy enjoyed only by those of the upper tiers of society and only on special occasions.
In 17th Century England, Charles II enjoyed a plate of ice cream to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the restoration of the monarchy in England and it was again served at a banquet for the birth of his son, James II.
If you’re imagining ice cream similar to what you scoop out of your carton, think again. Thanks to The Wellcome Trust releasing 17th and 18th Century recipes, we know that ice cream has come a long way from what was enjoyed in the 1600’s. For instance, the 17th century recipe for “Icy Cream” called for ambergris, politely known as a secretion of the sperm whale. Do a Google search and you’ll find the less-than-polite terminology.
That said, you should be able to view the recipe online. No worries about getting the required ingredient of ambergris. You can order it at about $20 a gram. If you want to stock up and get around 30 pounds worth, be ready to shell out around $300,000. I would understand if most of you opt for a delicious Uncle Harry’s Ice Cream treat instead.