Who Invented Ice Cream And When?

Ice cream is a favorite dessert or snack among many. It is made of milk or cream with added sweeteners such as sugar. This sweet treat is enjoyed by children and adults alike, but have you ever thought about its origin? Ice cream must have started somewhere and spread across the world. If you thought that ice cream is a modern delicacy, this post will show you how wrong you are. The history of ice cream is very interesting.  Let’s look at the origin and time the ice cream was invented.

What country first Invented Ice Cream?

Ice cream is believed to have originated from China, although some historians trace its origin to the Mongol Empire in East Asia which is known as Mongolia today. The Mongol Empire existed in the 13th and 14th centuries and was the largest land empire in history. The ice cream fever spread to China during its expansion where the Chinese Tang Dynasty spread from Korea to the Steppes of Mongolia in the North, Afghanistan to the West, and Vietnam to the South.

Present-day Mongolia was Chinese territory, and that’s why ice cream is said to have been invented in China. The ice cream first started in China and spread to Italy, then to England, and the rest of the world followed suit. The famous world traveler, Marco Polo is said to have seen ice cream being made in China and took the recipe to Italy.

Where was Ice Cream invented in China?

ice cream in ancient china

Ice cream was first invented in the Tang Dynasty. The dynasty is believed to have been made up of what is today called Korea, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. The ice cream was made in the steppes of Mongolia when King Tang ordered a group of men to serve him a concoction of rice and milk that was frozen in the snow.

 The invention saw its way to the Roman Empire where Emperor Nero was believed to have a serving of flavored ice every day. Contrary to many beliefs, the ice cream did not come from Italy. It was introduced there in China. The emperor of Shang lived in the North China plain which extended to Hebei provinces and Henan to the west. He sent his men to the mountains to make his delicacy.

When was Ice Cream Invented?

Ice cream was invented in 200 BC in China by a group of men who made some kind of ice cream from milk and ice and froze it in the snow. It was first eaten in China between 618 to 97 AD in the time of King Tang of Shang. The Roma Emperor Nero between 54-68 BC is also believed to have been one of the pioneers of ice cream. Antonio Latini was working for a Spanish Viceroy Naples from 1642 to 1692. He is believed to have written the first ice cream recipe.

By the 17th century, it became a common thing to make frozen desserts with sugar commonly known as Sorbetto. This became the first official ice cream. The French first received an Italian version of the Sorbetto from a Sicilian called Francesco Procopio who opened a French Café in Paris and served great intellectuals like Benjamin Franklin with Sorbetto. In a nutshell, it was first invented 618 AD during the reign of King Tango and later spread to other parts of the world where it was modified to suit the taste of the people in each country.

Who Invented Ice Cream First?

Ice cream was first invented by King Tang of Shang in China. The Roman Emperors followed suit when they asked their slaves to go to the mountain and pick fresh ice to be served in the early morning hours. The ice was flavored and sweetened. King Tango’s ice cream involved milk, flour, and camphor. Flour was used to add to the texture. Some say it was made with buffalo milk while other historians believe that it was made with co and goat milk.

 In the same country, a kind of ice cream made with rice and milk and frozen in the snow was made about 200 BC. When we look at all historical data, the Chinese were the first to invent ice cream in its earliest forms and specifically in the era of the Tang dynasty. Other countries only made adaptations of the Chinese ice cream with an addition of their traditional recipes. For instance, Italy received its recipe from Marco Polo and spread it to the French who improvises it with sugar and made desserts.

How was Ice Cream Invented?

ice in ancient china

This age-old delicacy was invented from a mixture of milk, camphor, and flour, a recipe by the ancient King of Shang. The buffalo milk or cow milk was heated with flour to make a thick mixture. An aromatic substance called camphor which came from the evergreen trees was added to the mixture to enhance flavor.

How did the ancient chinese make ice cream? The Chinese made metal tubes that were used to place the mixture in a pool of ice. The mixture stayed in this pool until it became rock hard. It was then retrieved and removed from the metal tubes having taken the shape of the tubes.  It was now ready to be eaten. This recipe is similar to the Indian Kulfi before it’s refrigerated. The king and his royals were served the ice sticks as a form of dessert or snack.


Ice cream has a long history since 618 AD and is still enjoyed in China and the rest of the world to date. It has been modified and made into a variety of flavors. Summer time is the ideal season for the ice cream although many people take it at any time of the year regardless of the weather.  It is a staple dessert among most families in the world. Ever since its invention in China, it has continued to become the world’s favorite delicacy among frozen foods to date. China has continued to be in the lead with new and modern ice cream variations.

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