I admit that this is probably not something you’ve ever thought of. However, do you know who invented the milkshake? It might sound like a silly question since blending ice cream into a delicious drink seems as natural a decision as adding chocolate to your milk for chocolate milk!
Believe it or not but things weren’t that easy with milkshakes. Until we had freezers that were freon-cooled, no one could get ice cream cold enough to keep frozen. Even though ice cream (in one form or another) dates back to the first century, most ice cream that we know of today had to be eaten shortly after being made at ice cream parlors.
The making of ice cream hit a sort of renaissance in the late 1700s and through the 1800s in America when the first ice cream parlor opened in New York City. The incorporation of salt on the ice to lower the temperature, adding wooden paddles to smooth the ice cream and eventually in 1843 the “Johnson Ice-Cream Freezer,” patented by William Young and named after its inventor Nancy Johnson, all helped bring ice cream to the masses.
In the 1900s, mechanical refrigeration allowed for the large-scale production and storage of ice cream. It was in 1922 that Walgreens, yes that Walgreens, started serving malted milkshakes in both vanilla and rich chocolate.
One more bit of trivia. Do you know who, specifically, we have to thank for progressing ice cream to where it is today and for all the delicious flavors? We have former White House Chef Augustus Jackson!
Augustus Jackson, born April 16, 1808, was an African-American candy confectioner from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jackson served as a chef in the White House during the 1820s. He left his job in the capital to return to his hometown and establish a successful ice cream business. He is best known for developing several new flavors of ice cream that became very popular at the time.
In its 91 years of existence, milkshakes haven’t changed all that much. Ice cream and milk are all you really need, though adding chocolate, peanut butter and fruit like Florida strawberries certainly dresses up the delicious treat!
Florida Strawberry Milkshake
- 1 lb strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup milk
Rinse the fresh strawberries in fresh water (here are some tips). Then remove tops and quarter the berries. Place the quartered berries in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Toss the strawberries a bit and let sit in the refrigerator or freezer to macerate 30 minutes to an hour. Once the berries are soft with a syrup forming in the bottom of the bowl, remove the berries from the refrigerator. If you’re using frozen berries, sprinkle the berries with sugar and let them sit at room temperature until they are soft but still very cold.
Put strawberries and then ice cream in a blender and pulse. Start adding milk, using more if you want a thinner milkshake and less if you want a richer, thicker shake. You can also add a tiny amount (1/8 tsp) xanthan gum to the milkshake while blending to thicken things up.
Pour milkshake into a chilled glass and garnish with a fresh sliced strawberry. If you want to mix this up a bit, try adding malt or chocolate to your milkshake or substituting honey for sugar!