Our favorite classic ice cream and froyo flavors have all rightfully earned the designation “classic.” Chocolate and vanilla are ubiquitous flavors seen in every frozen treat shop from sea to shining sea, but have you ever wondered how our modern vanilla soft serve compares to the vanilla ice cream served at James Madison’s inauguration in 1813? Or how our smooth, mild chocolate froyo of today compares to the spicy Mexican chocolate that was America’s first introduction to cacao? Well, we can assure you, we’ve come a long way.
Vanilla may seem like a safe if a bit boring, ice cream flavor. Today, we can buy no less than three different varieties of vanilla extracts, vanilla flavorings, and even vanilla sugars, but in the 1800s, as Americans were getting their first taste of ice cream, vanilla was the most exotic flavor around. Vanilla is extracted from the long mahogany bean of the (then) rare vanilla orchid. In its first incarnation, vanilla ice cream would have had the smooth, buttery notes we commonly associate with the flavor but also would have had an earthy, almost spicy quality that has since been bred out of commercial vanilla plants.
Chocolate ice cream, on the other hand, would have been bitter, a bit spicy, and rich with notes of cinnamon. Chocolate had been in heavy rotation for hundreds of years pre-colonization, but newly minted Americans would often be indulging in chocolate for the first time.
Craving a chocolate-vanilla swirl? Visit Frenzi Frozen Yogurt’s menu to see what deliciously modern flavors we have in stock!
Next time you visit historic Downtown Gresham, stop by Frenzi Frozen Yogurt and treat yourself! Don’t forget to stop by every Wednesday for Waffle Cone Wednesdays – buy one desert and receive one waffle cone or waffle cup free!