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Frozen dairy food. Ice cream is made from cream or butterfat, milk, sugar, and flavourings. Fruit ices (nondairy frozen desserts) were introduced into Europe from the East sometime after being first described by Marco Polo in his journals. Creation of the first true cream ice is credited to a Parisian café owner named Tortoni in the late 18th century. The ice-cream cone originated at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Mo., U.S. Commercial ice cream is made by heating and blending its ingredients to form a mix, which is then pasteurized and homogenized. The mix is ripened for several hours and then agitated while being frozen to incorporate air; the highest-quality ice creams incorporate the least air. Ice cream is now available in hundreds, if not thousands, of flavours.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ice cream, visit Britannica.com.