18th Century Parmesan Ice Cream (Yes, the Cheese)

Photo: YouTube/Jas. Townsend and Son

We've taken you on some video trips into our nation's culinary past before with 18th Century recipes for pancakes, fried chicken and more. That's all thanks to the awesome reenactor resource YouTube channel from Jas. Townsend and Son, which features everything you could ever want to know about life in 1700s America. This time our usual host Jon meets up with Mrs. Curtis, a resident of historical Prairietown at Connor Prairie in Fishers, Indiana who is whipping up a batch of Parmesan Iced Cream.

It's savory ice cream with, you guessed it, parmesan cheese. The base is a simple custard, and the techniques used to determine doneness are, of course, quaint and a good reminder that you don’t need a lot of technology when you’ve got knowhow. Parmesan was one delicacy that could easily make it to the New World, being a hard, salted cheese that travels well and was able to last the trip from Europe. The ice cream is made in an old fashioned cranked copper canister machine and as Mrs. Curtis notes, the finished product "it's so easy to go down your throat." Well, I'm sold. As modern creameries re-discover savory flavors like balsalmic and garlic in our cold treats, this recipe proves we can always look back into our past and find everything old is new once again.

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