Ice cream has a singular place in American cuisine as both a comfort food and festive treat. Fudge ripple is a consolation for a minor disappointment, and butterscotch swirl is a reward for reaching a personal goal.
Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla traces the evolution of ice cream from a rarity to an everyday indulgence. It covers the genesis of ice cream in America, the invention of the hand-cranked ice cream freezer, the natural ice industry, the beginnings of wholesale ice cream manufacturing, and the origins of the ice cream soda, sundae, cone, sandwich, and bar. It also recounts the histories of many brands, including Dairy Queen, Good Humor, Eskimo Pie, Ben and Jerry's, Baskin-Robbins, and Haagen-Dazs. This history of ice cream reflects and reveals changes in social customs, diet and nutrition, class distinctions, leisure activities, and everyday life.