Britain’s blistering heatwave has created a record-breaking demand for the treat that, over the course of the last century, has become a summer favourite the world over: ice cream. Sales have increased 100 per cent year on year, and London is even hosting an ice-cream themed pop-up exhibition, fittingly titled ‘Scoop’.
Just 350 years ago, ice cream was a rare delicacy, reserved for kings and the richest of aristocrats. To enjoy it a person had to be able to afford refrigeration, which in the pre-industrial world was arduous and expensive.
Back then, to refrigerate foodstuffs, people needed the land to build an ice house (to store the ice), fresh water access, and servants to cut and hull the ice. The ice would have to be regularly restocked and was available only in some climates at some times. But thanks to technological and scientific progress, ice cream has become available to pretty much everyone.