By  • August 20, 2012

At the birthday parties of your youth, tradition dictated that a scoop of ice cream slumped lazily on the same plate as your cake. Grandma Shirley always ended Sunday meals with a saucer full of orange sherbet, scooped into generous mounds from a big plastic tub. Ice cream only seemed to multiply on your trip to Italy, when streets were lined with carts pushing creamy, colorful gelato. (You obliged, more than once.) Fro-yo, sorbet, and semifreddo just make your head spin. You’ll happily eat them all, but what makes each one different? Grab yourself a cone, and we’ll take you through all of your favorite frozen treats — all before you get to the last lick.

The Scoop: The first record of edible iced confections dates back to 12th Century China, of all places. Who knew? But the quintessential cone didn’t make it to American soil until much later. The sugary wafer that we have come to know and love was born out of a mistake, when World’s Fair ice cream vendors ran out of dishes for their frozen treats in 1904. A little improvisation and a lot of rolled wafers later, the “World’s Fair Cornucopia” was born. Technically, our favorite summertime treat contains cream, milk and up to 60% air incorporated during the spinning process.

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