Popsicle To Kulfi: Know The History Behind These Cold Desserts
Image Credit: Custard is a popular dessert all over the world | Unsplash

Do you ever find yourself indulging in your favourite cold dessert on a hot summer day, wondering about its origin? Well, wonder no more! We're here to take you on a deliciously enlightening journey through the history of your favourite frosted treats. From ice cream to sorbet and everything in between, there's a fascinating story behind every scoop. Get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth and your curiosity as we explore the origins, flavours, and cultural significance of your go-to cold desserts.


It is a creamy and decadent frozen dessert that has been a beloved treat in India for centuries. Its history can be traced back to the Mughal era, where it was known as "qulfi." The Mughals were great lovers of rich, indulgent foods and brought with them many Persian and Central Asian culinary traditions when they arrived in India in the 16th century. Kulfi was originally made by simmering milk for hours until it thickened and reduced. Then sugar and flavourings such as saffron, cardamom, or pistachios were combined. The mixture was then frozen in cone-shaped moulds called matkas, which were buried in ice and salt to ensure a slow and even freezing process. The dessert was a luxury reserved for the rich and elite of Mughal society, and it was often served at lavish feasts and celebrations. It became especially popular in the royal court of Emperor Akbar, who was said to have often enjoyed kulfi.


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This frozen treat on a stick has a fascinating history that began by accident. In 1905, an 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson from San Francisco left a mixture of powdered soda and water with a stirring stick on his porch on a winter night. The mixture froze, and he discovered the delicious treat the next day. Epperson continued to experiment with different flavours and variations. And in 1923, he applied for a patent on his "Epsicle." The name was later changed to popsicle, and it quickly became popular.

During the Great Depression, popsicles provided an affordable and refreshing treat for families struggling to make ends meet. In the 1950s and 1960s, popsicles became associated with summer and were sold from ice cream trucks and pushcarts across the country.


The ancient Persians and Egyptians are believed to have enjoyed an early version of sorbet made with snow or ice and flavoured with fruit and honey. In mediaeval Europe, sorbet evolved into a popular dessert enjoyed by royalty and the upper classes. It was often served between courses as a palate cleanser and was made with exotic fruits and spices.

Through the course of time, sorbet continued to evolve with new flavours and ingredients. Italian sorbets made with fresh fruit became particularly popular during the Renaissance period, and the French added champagne to create a decadent sorbet variation called "sorbet au champagne."


This creamy dessert has been enjoyed for centuries and has a rich and flavourful history. Its exact origins are unclear, but it's believed to have originated in ancient Rome and was made with milk, honey, and eggs. During the Middle Ages, custard became a popular dish among European nobility and was often served at feasts and banquets.

In the 18th century, custard gained popularity in the United Kingdom, where it was often flavoured with vanilla and nutmeg and served alongside puddings and cakes. It was also a staple dessert in American households during colonial times and was used as a filling for the iconic Boston cream pie. The Indian version of custard has a lot of dry fruits and fresh fruits.