Swedes have a love affair with ice cream and eat 12-13 liters of ice cream per person per year (that's 3.4 U.S. gallons), but they aren't the biggest consumers in the world.
It’s warmer outside, perfect weather to stop for ice cream ...
The biggest ice cream consumers in the world are New Zealanders, who consume over 25 liter per person per year (6.6 U.S. gallons), followed by Americans who consume 20 liters per person per year (5.2 gallons). No official statistics exist and the numbers change every year, but Sweden and Finland (colder climates ...?) are usually at the top in Europe, and yet ice cream is the only food that’s supposed to be consumed frozen.
According to GB Glace (the largest ice cream company in Sweden and part of Unilever), 71 percent of all ice cream consumers feel happy when consuming ice cream. The frozen dessert was probably invented by the Chinese and brought to Europe by Marco Polo in 1298. There’s proof that the Chinese ate ice cream as long as 3,000 years ago, when they mixed honey, snow and fruit juice. ADVERTISEMENT
The kind of ice cream we eat today has existed since the 18th century, and it came to Sweden at around that time too, where it was served at King Gustaf III’s court in Stockholm. Ice cream remained a luxury food served only at weddings and larger parties for a long time. Carl von Linné, the Swedish botanist, wrote about how it became popular among the Swedish nobility. "Glass," the word for ice cream in Swedish, was borrowed from the French name for it: “crème à la place” meaning frozen cream. Not until the beginning of the 20th century did ice cream reach the common people of Sweden, and then it was usually made at home — influenced by Russian and Italian immigrants. It wasn’t until the 1950s that ice cream became really popular in Sweden, and the popsicle didn’t reach Stockholm until the 1930 Stockholm Exhibition.
It’s fairly easy to make your own ice cream, if you feel like it. Recipes vary, but here's a good one:
You need 4 egg yolks, ½ cup sugar (you can use Swedish vanilla sugar if you can get it or confectioner’s sugar), 1 cup heavy cream, ¾ cup milk and then some kind of fruit preserve, such as strawberry, to taste.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the cream separately and add it carefully to the egg and sugar mixture. Then add milk and fruit to taste. If you want old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, then heat the milk and add to it a vanilla pod, cut crosswise. Let it sit in the milk for 30 minutes while the milk cools. Then scrape out the vanilla seeds and mix with the rest of the milk and pour into the batter.