frozen dessert

Whether you eat ice cream in a fun dessert cup or funnel a frozen dessert through a paper drinking straw, ice cream is undoubtedly one of the modern world's greatest pleasures. But did you know that this delicious dish only became commonplace in the 17th century France? Before this time, commoners rarely enjoyed a sweet treat, let alone the luxury that is ice cream.

Here are some of the ancient desserts enjoyed by our ancestors before they ate ice cream with fun colored spoons.

Ancient Egypt

Like most ancient cultures, diet primarily consisted of what food was available to you at the time. This was limited by region, but it was also limited by social and economic status. Many commoners were unable to indulge in sweet treats. As such, fruits became a popular after-dinner snack.

But there were a few stand-outs that definitely deserve to be mentioned. Milk toffee, almond milk custard tart, and whipped chestnut cream were all enjoyed by elites at the time. However, many people still paired these delicacies with fruits for a unique flavor profile.

Ancient Greece

Baklava has always been a crowd favorite, but ancient Greeks called this layered food "gastrin" back then. This dish was a little more savory than modern mouths are used to, consisting of sesame seeds, pepper, and even poppy seeds. To sweeten the deal, Greeks would add petimezi grape syrup on top.

Ancient Greeks also transformed popular fruits into fresh delicacies. For thousands of years, Greeks have enjoyed a simple dish of oranges with honey.

Ancient Rome

Libum is known as one of the earliest forms of cheesecake. Unfortunately, new reports claim that this delicacy aligns more closely with unleavened bread, but the cakey consistency was a crowd favorite in most Roman households.

In fact, libum is particularly interesting since it was initially a form of sacrificial food. Ancient Romans would offer this dish to household spirits in the early days of antiquity. Cato wrote a recipe for the dish in his De Agri Cultura, which cites ricotta cheese, flour, egg, and honey as the main ingredients.  

Modern America

Today, most people regularly indulge in ice cream as their favorite sweet treat. In fact, ice cream became one of the primary morale boosters in World War II. In 1946 alone, it's estimated that Americans consumed more than 20 quarts of ice cream per person.

With technology paving the way for innovation, we have gotten even more creative with our desserts. Whether you're eating your favorite frozen dessert in a to-go cup on the run or enjoying a milkshake with your sweetheart, we're thankful that ice cream is here to stay.