The History of Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Gelato

Here at FYI Delray, we serve the best Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, and frozen yogurt in Delray Beach. People travel far and wide to experience the one-of-a-kind experience that we offer. With more flavors than you can count, our ice cream is richer than Jeff Bezos and creamier than unpasteurized milk. You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Perhaps take a look at our legendary never-ending bubble machine, which leaves children transfixed and mesmerized on the spot. Legend has it that one child turned into a giant ice cream cone. We pay homage to the purveyors and inventors that came before us. Without the heroes that invented these creamy delicacies, Delray Beach may have never seen their best ice cream store.

The Origins of Ice Cream

Some say Marco Polo brought it back from the Far East. Others refers to biblical passages that mention King Solomon enjoying iced drinks. Some say FYI Delray was personally responsible for the invention of ice cream through a series of wormholes. The world may never know. What we do know is that during Nero’s reign of Rome (from 54-68 B.C.), ice was harvested and brought back from nearby mountains. They were held in ice houses, which were simple pits covered with straw. This practice of keeping ice in cold climates would go on for centuries until the advent of refrigeration.

The Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) used a process of freezing cow, goat, and buffalo milk to create a frozen treat. They lowered the milk, flower and camphor concoction into ice pools via metal tubes until the mixture was frozen. In Medieval times, an icy beverage called sherbet (sharabt in Arabic) became popular in the Middle East and soon became popular with European aristocracy. Italians are said to have mastered this drink-making technique, using liquid flavored with cherry, pomegranate or quince.


Antonio Latini (1642-1692) may be one of the most influential men to ever live, as he was credited with the invention of Sorbetto. During the 17th century, he added sugar to drinks made out of ice. He is also responsible for creating the first milk-based sorbet, which many culinary experts refer to as the first “official” ice cream. We all owe Antonio a gigantic thank-you.


The year is 1686. Our hero’s name is Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli. Francesco opened Paris’ first café, aptly named the Il Procope. The establishment became a meeting place for many famous intellectuals, including Benjamin Franklin, Victor Hugo and Napoleon. The café introduced gelato, the Italian version of sorbet, to the French public. It was served in small porcelain bowls resembling egg cups. Procopio became known as the “Father of Italian Gelato”.  During the same century, the French began experimenting with flavored ices. The concoction was known as “fromage”, and was known to include air in the mixture, creating a fluffy and tantalizing texture. Fromage, Gelato, and Sorbetto became quite popular during this time.  

American Ice Cream

It is said that ice cream reached the Americas by means of European settlers. In 1790, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York. Our founding fathers had quite the obsession with ice cream: notable names include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Many parties were held with ice cream being the dessert of choice. Jefferson is said to have kept several ice houses, able to hold up to 62 wagon-loads of ice, along with copious amounts of ice cream. In one year, Washington spent over 200$ on ice cream. I’m not too sure about the rate of inflation on that one, but for that amount of money, you could probably build a skyscraper today.

In summary, the history of ice cream spans globally and over several centuries. No one really knows who first invented the dessert, but we can rest assured that it is here to stay. Did you know that a staggering 9% of America’s cow milk production is dedicated to ice cream production? We think that number is not enough.

Delray Beach Ice Cream

We hope that this article worked up your appetite. See why people travel far and wide to FYI Delray. Maybe it’s the fact that we have ice cream, sorbet, gelato and frozen yogurt. Maybe it’s our inviting atmosphere or are friendly staff.

Perhaps it’s because we offer dairy-free options for vegans and lactose intolerant people alike. The amount of flavors might overwhelm you at first, but don’t be afraid. Our staff is trained to handle customers that are too shocked by the quality of our ice cream. Some customers have been quoted as saying, “this is the best ice cream parlor I’ve ever been to”. If you are ready to try the best ice cream parlor in South Florida (or perhaps the world), then pay us a visit in the heart of downtown Delray. You won’t regret it.