Speeding right along before it drips . . . .
So here goes. In the 16th century Mughal emperors ruled northern India, Bangladesh and northeastern Pakistan. They absolutely loved their fruit sorbets, in fact, they were so desperate for them they used relays of horsemen to bring ice from the Hindu Kush south to Delhi--a distance of 700 miles as the crow flies. They were in constant danger of avalanches, robbers, snowstorms and all kinds of other disasters. It's to be noted that if a robber stole your ice, it was an acquisition of diminishing returns. Bad idea.
Now get this. Catherine de'Medici married Henry, duc d'Orleans in 1533. Nothing unusual about that, but, but, but they were only children. They were both 14 years old and still needed their mothers. Maybe this is why she arrived in one of her father's carriage because Henry wasn't old enough to drive. Is it any wonder Henry took up with a 35 year old woman a year later? He was still searching for a mother and Catherine was only a child, not even a proper wife. However, one of the delights of this arranged marriage was that Catherine brought several personal chefs to France who had recipes for flavored ices and sorbets. Perhaps this was one childish joy they could enjoy together.
A century later, in merry Olde England, Charles I was giving a great banquet. Guests oooed and awwwed over all the delicacies of the day, but the coup de grace was yet to come. We don't know how he did it, but he got a Chinese recipe from somewhere and had his cook prepare "frozen snow." It was such a hit that he offered the cook a lifetime pension of 500 pounds--a princely sum at that time--to keep the recipe a secret. It was to be served only at royal functions. Sadly, Charles fell into disfavor not long afterward and was beheaded. Anyway secret was out though it did not become popular for another century or two. The problem was how to keep the stuff frozen.
Okay, I've said enough, but watch for my next blog where I will divulge an actual ice cream recipe from 1674. Be prepared.