'Milk Ice' was the original name for ice cream.
Text and images by Cheryl Teo @ Makansutra
Frozen mixtures of ice and milk are believed to have existed in China as early as 200 BC and the Chinese called it “milk ice.”
It was the Chinese who invented the device to make sorbets and ice cream. They poured a mixture of snow and salt (which lowers the freezing point to below zero) over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup.
There were ancient accounts which state that during the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan enjoyed ice cream so much that he kept it a royal secret until Marco Polo visited China in the 13th century and persuaded Kublai Khan to pass him the technique to make the creamed ice.
Marco Polo brought it back to his hometown in Italy and the Europeans replaced milk with cream and named it ice cream.
From Italy, this formula spread throughout Europe and then the world. It first emerged in France, and then England; each country modified the recipe along the way.