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The History of the World (According to Ice Cream)

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to imagine a world without ice cream. But even before the invention of refrigeration or industrial ice cream machines, people still found a way to get their ice cream fix.

Treats of Old

The first mention of an ice cream-like food dates all the way back to Alexander the Great, who was rumored to enjoy snow flavored with honey! (Drop a comment if you think we should create a honey flavored ice cream for next month?) But ice cream-y treats were being developed all over the world too! From Tang Dynasty China, to India, to medieval Persia, many cultures have their own traditional style of ice cream.


It was not until the mid-1700’s that ice cream was first mentioned in North America where ~obviously~ it was a hit! Some say that George Washington spent over $200 on ice cream one summer (and tbh, we love that journey for him).


During the Industrial Revolution, ice cream became exponentially more accessible to people. A huge thank you to the creators of modern day refrigeration and steam power. Ice cream parlors seemed to pop up everywhere and became popular hang out spots. Today, some statistics report that the average American eats close to 23 pounds of ice cream per year!


Dairy-Free Is the Way to Be

The earliest recipe for dairy-free ice cream was published in 1899 by Almeda Lambert, (our queen) in her book Guide for Nut Cookery, where she writes about ice cream created with almond or peanut milks instead of cow’s milk.


Even though Almeda paved the way for the non-dairy train, it took more than 50 years for everyone else to jump on it. During the countercultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, plant-based diets became more mainstream. Hippie dippy entrepreneurs began experimenting with soy and other dairy substitutes, creating some of the earliest versions of commercial dairy-free ice cream.


We here at Kula Ice Cream have learned from our dairy-free predecessors and now create ice cream with many different dairy-free bases. We don’t use any soy bases, but instead we appreciate the creaminess that comes from our different nut and seed bases: almond, cashew, coconut, peanut, and sunflower seed! All of our ice cream is gluten-free as well. Learn more about Kula Ice Cream’s history and background here. You can find us at different farmers’ markets and specialty grocery stores in San Diego and you can also order pints online for in-store pickup.


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