One hundred years ago today, an Italian immigrant named Italo Marchiony applied for a patent for a cone-shaped pastry mold for serving ice cream. And so the ice cream cone was born.
To celebrate the centennial birthday of this most treasured of treats, Dairy Queen is giving away 5-ounce vanilla soft serve cones today — in exchange for a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Dairy Queen hopes to earn $1 million for the nonprofit organization, which raises money and awareness of the 170 hospitals for children throughout North America.
Like many important historical events, however, the birth of the ice cream cone has been debated. Some say credit goes to Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. When an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, Hamwi provided him with rolled-up waffle-like pastries called zalabis.
Others say there were more than 50 ice cream cone stands at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
Regardless of the technicalities, the fact remains: We all scream for ice cream.
It’s the standard reward for a Little League team’s job well done. It’s the silver lining in the cloud of a tonsillectomy.
It’s the obligatory sidecar to a slice of birthday cake.
And it’s not just for kids. Gourmet treats from the likes of Ben & Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Marble Slab and more have elevated the humble cone to an upscale culinary experience.
Giant chocolate-dipped waffle cones with sprinkles have supplanted the sugar cone and the "plain" cone. But there’s still a place in our hearts and stomachs for those simple soft-serve treats in airfilled, crunchy, flat-bottomed cones.
So ignore the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s dire study on how ice cream is even more fattening than you think (released in the heat of the summer this year, no less) and indulge. Hey, it’s for a good cause.
Ice cream FAQ
Q: How much ice cream is produced in the United States?
A: In 2000, 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream, or 22.71 quarts per person
Q: How much ice cream do we eat a year?
A: The average American eats around 45 pints (5.63 gallons), more than any other country.
Q: How many U.S. homes have ice cream in their freezers?
A: More than 90 percent of U.S. households in 2000 consumed ice cream and frozen desserts.
Q: What are the top five ice cream flavors in the United States?
A: Vanilla, chocolate, vanilla/chocolate, fruit, and cookies and cream
Important events in ice cream history
• 4th century B.C.: The first recorded origins of ice cream
• 1776: The first ice cream parlor in the United States opens
• 1846: Nancy Johnson of New Jersey invents the portable hand-cranked ice cream freezer
• 1848: William G. Young patents the "Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer" based on Nancy Johnson’s invention
• 1851: Jacob Fussell establishes the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant in Baltimore
• 1940: The first Dairy Queen opens in Joliet, Ill. Sources: International Dairy Queen; http://inventors.about. com/library/inventors/blice cream.htm