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Ice Cream Week: A 2,000-Year History

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File Image (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

File Image (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – New Englanders, like nowhere else in the country, enjoy their ice cream.

“It’s definitely true that New Englanders eat more ice cream than any other region in the U.S.,” said Mike San Clemente, the marketing director for HP Hood, an ice cream company with a rich history.

“Hood started in 1846 in Charlestown, founded by Harvey Perley Hood, hence the HP Hood name that we have today,” San Clemente told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker.

More: Ice Cream Week Parts 1-5

The history of ice cream itself goes back even further. Ice cream has its roots in a snack enjoyed almost 2,000 years ago.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports.

“What folks used to do at that time was cup together snow and pour juices and even collect it with fruits and what not and eat it that way,” said San Clemente.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker talks to San Clemente

This more closely resembles what we would call a snow cone today. Ice cream closer to its current form first appeared Europe in the 16th century, and the first official ice cream was found in what would become the United States in 1744.

Photos: We All Scream For Ice Cream

Americans have had a love affair with the frozen treat ever since, but in the early years, there was a problem: without modern refrigeration, you couldn’t take it home. Only ice cream parlors had the capacity to keep it cool.

Check: Best Ice Cream On The Cape

“You have a few places that have that technology, that could freeze it overnight and store it for maybe a few weeks,” San Clemente said, “but you’d have to consume it on the spot in most places.”

Ice cream got a big boost in the late 19th century, thanks to the invention of the cone.

Check: Boston Area’s Best Ice Cream Stands

“The first ice cream cone was introduced in 1896, by Italo Marchiony, who, as you might guess, is from Italy,” San Clemente said.  “You’ve got people who can perhaps eat more ice cream, depending on what sort of cups you had around, but then can take it and transport it.”

An increased selection of flavors came later, and so did a wide variety of shops and different places to enjoy the cool treat.

Ben Parker’s series can be heard all this week on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. He’ll look at the area’s favorite ice cream places.

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