Ice cream parlor
Ice cream parlors (or parlours) are restaurants that sell ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt to consumers. Ice cream is typically sold as regular ice cream (also called hard-packed ice cream), gelato, and soft serve, which is usually dispensed by a machine with a limited number of flavors (e.g., chocolate, vanilla, and "twist", a mix of the two). It is customary for ice cream parlors to offer a number of flavors and items. Parlors often serve ice cream and other frozen desserts in cones or in dishes, to be eaten with a spoon. Some ice cream parlours prepare ice cream desserts such as sundaes (ice cream topped with syrup, whipped cream and other toppings) or milkshakes.
While the origins of ice cream are often debated, most scholars trace the first ice cream parlor back to France in the 17th century. In 1686, Francesco Procopio del Coltelli opened Paris' first cafÃ©. The CafÃ© Procope, named by its Sicilian founder, introduced gelato to the French public. The dessert was served to its elite guests in small porcelain bowls.
Until 1800, ice cream remained a rare and exotic dessert enjoyed mostly by the elite. The introduction of insulated ice houses in 1800, the first ice cream factory in Pennsylvania in 1851, and industrial refrigeration in the 1870s made manufacturing and storing ice cream much simpler. The first ice cream factory was built by Jacob Fussell, a milk dealer who bought dairy products from Philadelphia farmers and sold them in Baltimore. The mass production of ice cream cut the product's cost significantly, making it more popular and more affordable for people of lower classes.
In the early 1800s, an early form of an ice cream parlor was existent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States that sold "all kinds of refreshments, as Ice Cream, Syrups, French Cordials, Cakes, Clarets of the best kind, Jellies, etc." According to one source, the first ice cream parlor opened in New York City, United States in 1790.
Gelato is Italian ice cream that contains more milk and less cream compared to ice cream, is denser in consistency, and has a smoother texture. Milk fat in gelato varies from 1-2 percent up to 15%, the latter of which is similar to standard ice cream. Gelato parlors often produce their own product and are less likely to serve American-style ice cream or soft serve. Sorbet is a frozen treat made from fruit, syrup and ice. No milk or cream is used. Frozen yogurt is a common low-fat ice cream alternative with a smooth texture that is similar to soft serve ice cream. All of these frozen products may be sold in ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, and milkshakes. Some parlors may also sell ice cream cakes, ice cream bars and other pre-packaged frozen sweets. In addition to frozen dessert products, some modern ice cream parlors also sell a variety of hot fast foods.