History of Food

History of Food

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17 is National Peach Ice Cream Day

Peaches are one of the best flavors of the summer season. People wait for about 48 weeks for the peach harvest to ripen. And, when it does, for a few short weeks, its "peach everything"! In celebration of the harvest, the ice cream companies make peach ice cream. Its hard to find other times of the year. Most major ice cream makers only produce it during the summer. (It kinda makes you yearn for the old days of HOJO's 28 Flavors!)

In researching the origins of this designated day there was scarce information to be found. Just thinking about it makes me what to step away from the keyboard, go to the store, purchase peach ice cream - or better yet, the ingredients and make my own.

In researching this luscious topic, it occurred to me that Peach Ice Cream just might be a derivative of Peach Melba.   That's it - Peach Ice Cream could be the lazy person's quick route to Peach Melba.  You just have to add raspberry sauce and the recipe would be complete!

The Peach Melba (French: pêche Melba) is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honour the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba. It combines two favourite summer fruits: peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream.

In 1892, Nellie Melba was performing in Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden. The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party to celebrate her triumph. For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert, and to display it, he used an ice sculpture of a swan, which is featured in the opera. The swan carried peaches which rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream and which were topped with spun sugar. In 1900, Escoffier created a new version of the dessert. For the occasion of the opening of the Carlton Hotel, where he was head chef, Escoffier omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée. Other versions of this dessert use pears, apricots, or strawberries instead of peaches and / or use raspberry sauce or melted red currant jelly instead of raspberry purée.

A blog contribution and recipe for Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream.

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