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Sweet Summertime: The Scoop on Ice Cream History

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Ice cream books

Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs shares the scoop on ice cream-related books.

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

Ice cream is synonymous with summer. Hot days and a bowl or cone of huge scoops of ice cream or gelato or sherbet defines a good summer day. Back in the day, the familiar sounds of the neighborhood ice cream truck found us standing patiently on the curb with coins in our hands for an afternoon treat.

This past Father’s Day reminded of my father and his love of homemade ice cream. Each year we knew that one activity on Father’s Day would include the cranking, and later humming, of the ice cream freezer. Vanilla was his favorite although he would indulge in peach and strawberry occasionally, but vanilla was his first choice.

While our homemade ice cream was a family ritual using the same recipe used by generations of ice-cream lovers, our family also loved indulging in a local favorite, Blue Bell. Finding the book, Blue Bell Ice Cream: a century at the Little Creamery in Brenham, Texas 1907-2007, was a walk down a memory lane of ice cream eating and a visit to the little creamery in Brenham was finally achieved last year. It was everything I thought it would be, down to the delicious scoop of Double Chocolate.

Blue Bell Ice Cream, published in 2007, offers a pictorial history filled with historic photographs, vintage ads and interesting facts of this famous creamery that brings delight to so many ice cream fans.

For those wishing to know some of the history and origin of ice cream, check out Jeri Quinzio’s Of Sugar and Snow: a History of Ice Cream Making. This book presents an overview of this frozen treat from its origins to the beginnings of industrialized ice cream production, following the spread and transformation of these new desserts of the upper class in France and England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the masses in the United States.

Make some summer memories and enjoy.

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