Tag Archives: books

Get the Scoop at New Amsterdam Market’s Ice Cream Fest and Book Signing

From Ice Cream: A Global History (Reaktion Books) by Laura B. Weiss. Photo: Image Source/Rex Features.

Ice Cream Fanatics: The New Amsterdam Market’s 3rd Annual Ice Cream Sunday is Aug. 19. If you’re in NYC, stop by for ice cream from some great purveyors—plus, I’ll be signing (and selling) copies of my book, Ice Cream: A Global History.

The event’s from 12pm-4pm. I’ll be perched in a booth amongst the ice cream folks signing books from 1:30pm-3:30pm. Probably won’t have a whole lot of time to sample the ice cream. So…I hope someone brings me a few tastes.

Here’s who’s scooping and the scoop on tickets, hours, etc.

Gabrielle Carbone of THE BENT SPOON

Joseph Roselli of DREAM SCOOPS


Tracy Obolsky of ESCA


Ashley Whitmore of MARLOW & SONS

Fany Gerson of LA NEWYORKINA

Catherine Oddenino of LUCA & BOSCO

James Distefano of ROUGE TOMATE

Forbes Fisher of STEVE’S ICE CREAM



EARLY BIRD ADMISSION $30 – Starts 12pm

(10 Tasting Tickets, redeem for 10 miniature cones)

GENERAL ADMISSION $20 – Starts 1pm

(8 Tasting Tickets, redeem for 8 miniature cones)

At the door: $35 for Early Bird and $25 for General Admission


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Read an Excerpt: Ice Cream: A Global History, Published Today

Child with Ice Cream cone. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

My new book, Ice Cream: A Global History, (Reaktion Books), is being published today, April 1. It’s a fun trip around the word of ice cream. Readers journey from ancient China where ice cream was concocted with dragon eyeballs and camphor to modern-day Turkey where ice cream vendors still make a frozen dessert that’s so thick it requires a knife and fork to eat.

Click here to order Ice Cream: A Global History.

Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction:

Everyone Loves Ice Cream
I scream, you scream,
we all scream for ice cream!
Howard Johnson, Billy Moll and Robert King.

It’s called gelato in Italy, glace in France and morozhenoe in Russia. From Tokyo to Turin, from Denver to Delhi, everyone loves ice cream. With the possible exception of romance–‘Your love is better than ice cream’, singer Sarah McLachlan has crooned – there are few of life’s pleasures, culinary or otherwise, that can match ice cream’s potent allure.

What accounts for the sweet frozen treat’s irresistible appeal?

First, ice cream is just plain delectable. Composed of cream or milk, sweeteners and flavorings, which are churned and frozen, ice cream boasts an icy sumptuousness. What’s more, ice cream packs an emotional wallop. Stoking the pleasure-producing regions of the brain, ice cream is known for its ability to generate feelings of well-being,

‘It’s amazing how quickly you recover from misery when someone offers you ice cream’, marvelled teenager Eugene Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs, American playwright Neil Simon’s coming-of-age play.

Of course, ice cream tantalizes the taste buds and delights the eye. There’s the frothy ice cream soda sipped through a straw at the neighborhood soda fountain. There’s the luxurious taste of a gelato-topped cone, relished while strolling through the streets of Rome. There are the Indian kulfi walas hawking cardamom-perfumed kulfi on the streets of Delhi and Mumbai….

As befits a food so strongly identified with fun, the story of ice cream is a lively one. It’s a movable feast peppered with Chinese emperors and English kings, former slaves, women inventors, shrewd businessmen, Italian immigrant hokey pokey ice cream vendors, a gourmand First Lady, health food advocates, temperance apostles and modern-day food snobs.

Though the Chinese are said to have been the first to fashion a dairy-like frozen dessert, ice cream as we now know it was initially formulated in Europe, principally in Italy, but also in France, England and other parts of the Continent.

Ice cream then traveled across the Atlantic to America. In fact, Americans like to claim ice cream as their national dessert, conferring upon it a status rivaling the mythic apple pie…..

Despite the sizable American influence, indigenous ice cream cultures flourish worldwide. For example, Italian gelato is prized by ice cream connoisseurs everywhere. In Turkey and parts of the Middle East, salepi dondurma, an ice cream enhanced with orchid root, continues to flourish.

Still today, national ice cream traditions are fading, blending into a universal version of what once was a distinctive
local dessert….

Even gelato, that supposedly sacrosanct Italian ice cream, has been transformed (corrupted, some might say) by outside influences. There’s now green tea and cheddar cheese gelato being served from Des Moines to Delhi. In Italy, sampled flavors like ginger and spicy Aztec chocolate, some clearly not handmade and displaying flavor notes culled from regions far beyond Florence and Rome.

In fact some might ask at this point: is gelato even Italian any more?

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Ice Cream Event at New York’s Astor Center Slated for Sept. 1

Van Leeuwen ice cream truck draws crowds.

Van Leeuwen ice cream truck.

I scream, you scream.  Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, who doesn’t love ice cream? In fact, I love it so much, I have a book coming out next year on the history of ice cream around the world.

Meanwhile, if you want to get your licks in on this delicious subject, come hear Jeri Quinzio talk about ice cream history at the Astor Center.  I’ve read Quinzio’s book, which is a well-researched treatment of ice cream’s journey from elite treat to a dessert for the masses.  Starting with the French and Italians way back in the 16th century, Quinzio walks you through ice cream legends and lore.

Bored by history? Ben Van Leeuwen will teach you how to make ice cream at home that resembles the lucious varities he dishes out from his sunny yellow trucks.

Here’s the info:

Slow U: Ice Cream, from Sugar and Snow
with TheDairyShow.com , Slow Food NYC, Jeri Quinzio, Ben Van Leeuwen

Location: The Study
Price: $45.00
Date: Tue, Sep 1st, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

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Food Book: America’s Kitchens

It’s fitting that in the days before Thanksgiving, I found myself delving into a book about the history of American kitchens.

Even if I hadn’t read a word of America’s Kitchens, the lavish photos and illustrations would have been reason enough to spend time with this terrific volume about the room that is so central to every home.

From the New England hearth to the modern open-space kitchen that graces many suburban homes, the book traces the development of this essential room over the past 400 years.

Tracing the history of the kitchen, a room which defined a woman’s role for centuries, tells us how far we’ve come.  From the first-cast iron cookstove to modern appliances, the kitchen and the work that took place in it often defined women’s lives. And with every improvement in kitchen technology, women were freed from considerable drudgery.

This book also makes it clear how essential the kitchen is for defining who we are.  To be in a kitchen is to cook, certainly.  But it also is the place were  the generations share stories and experiences.

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