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Ice cream originated in the ancient China?

2016-01-18  By  pierce
Ice cream became popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century after cheap refrigeration became common.
The Chinese had discovered how to conserve naturally formed winter ice for summer use by building icehouses, which were kept cool by evaporation. The harvesting and storage of ice are recorded in a poem of circa 1100 B.C. in the Shih Ching, the famous collection of Food Canons. There is also mention of a festival held when the ice houses were opened for summer use:  "In the days of the second month, they hew out the ice. . . in the third month they convey it to the ice houses which they open in those of the fourth, early in the morning, having offered in sacrifice a lamb with scallions."
A frozen mixture of milk and rice was used in China around 200 BC.  Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat  asserts, in her History of Food, that "the Chinese may be credited with inventing a device to make sorbets and ice cream. They poured a mixture of snow and saltpetre over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup, for, in the same way as salt raises the boiling point of water, it lowers the freezing point to below zero."
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