Learn The History & Science Of Your Fave Summer Snack With These Books

by Sadie Trombetta

Does anything say summertime quite like a couple cold creamy scoops of ice cream and a stack of absorbing beach reads? I didn't think so, either, which is why I've rounded up some of the most delicious nonfiction books about ice cream. Fun and fascinating, they're perfect for pairing with a waffle cone of your favorite flavor.

It's no secret that Americans love their fair share of frozen desserts. In fact, the average American consumes 23 pounds of ice cream in any given year. Most of those sweet, delicious scoop up during the summer months, ice cream's undisputed season of enjoyment. After a long, hot day on the beach, by the pool, at the park, or, more likely, at work, who doesn't enjoy a double dish of cookie dough ice cream?

America's favorite dessert, ice cream has a long and interesting history in the United States, and around the world. With origins reaching as far back as the second B.C., ice cream has been delighting eaters for two thousand years, and in that time, it has changed and evolved alongside culture, science, and technology. In fact, the only thing sweeter than eating ice cream is learning how it came to be.

Ready to satisfy your cravings? Then here are nine books about ice cream that will hit the spot this summer.


'Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America' by Amy Ettinger

Travel across America sampling the country's finest scoops with journalist Amy Ettinger in her food memoir about the nation's sweetest treat: ice cream. In Sweet Spot, Ettinger takes her ice cream obsession on the road to explore the history of frozen desserts in the U.S. From the smallest independent stores to the largest plants, there is no where in the ice cream world this book doesn't go.

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'Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop' by Dana Cree

Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream is the Holy Trinity of ice cream books: it has recipes, flavor guides, and an explanation of the science behind how the frozen treat is made and how it can be manipulated. The perfect handbook for aspiring ice cream makers, this guide will turn fans into connoisseur in no time.

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'We All Scream: The Fall of the Gifford's Ice Cream Empire' by Andrew Gifford

Go behind the scenes, and behind the family, of one Washington's most famous ice cream businesses: Gifford's Ice Cream and Candy Company. Told by the last Gifford heir, We All Scream is an intimate portrait of the company and the family, including the shady business dealings, scandalous finances, tragic suicide, and more. Unflinching and honest, this is an ice cream book that's anything but sweet.

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'Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop' by Fred Lager

Get to know the men, and the politics, behind the brand name of one of the country's most famous ice cream companies: Ben & Jerry. An inside look into the lives of the founders, the origin of the business, and the unstoppable rise of the company from a small ice cream store to a nationwide brand, Ben & Jerry's is a fun read for fans of every flavor.

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'Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid' by Tim Ecott

A food book about more than just ice cream, Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid explores the global history of everyone's favorite flavor: vanilla. Starting in Papantla, Mexico and spreading across the planet, this book takes a deep dive into the story of the priceless plant, including its flavor profiles, most beloved products, and important uses. Interesting and informative, there's nothing plain about Vanilla.

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'Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats' by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint

Journey through a yearbook of your favorite dessert with the masterminds behind Big Gay Ice Cream, Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint. Filled with fun recipes, mouthwatering toppings, ice cream-inspired desserts, and plenty of delicious stories and biting humor, Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats is more than a cookbook. It's a hilarious romp in the wonderful world of ice cream.

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'Ice Cream: A Global History' by Laura B. Weiss

The title of this slim but informative gem says it all. Laura B. Weiss' Ice Cream: A Global History traces the origins of the frozen treat through time and around the world, from ancient China to Germany in WWII to modern-day America and beyond. Well-researched and richly detailed, this is a must-have for serious aficionado.

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'Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop' by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna

Another recipe book that will teach you how to make your favorite treat, Ample Hills Creamery shares all of the secrets that made the Brooklyn ice cream shop so popular. Featuring their most beloved recipes and arranged by mood, this handy guide will help you create the perfect scoop every time.

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'Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making' by Jeri Quinzio

In this fascinating story of ice cream making, author Jeri Quinzio debunks many of the biggest myths in the dessert's history. Of Sugar and Snow follows ice cream back to 16th century Europe to the small towns of America and beyond, revealing the cultural, historical, and social significance of the dessert. Masterfully researched and deliciously accessible, this book will leave you craving more.

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