22 April 2024

Brown bread ice-cream making a comeback with English Heritage

Brown bread ice-cream is coming to Stonehenge this Summer. Yes, that is correct. Brown bread ice-cream.

The unusual flavour, an 18th century staple, is being introduced by English Heritage to 13 locations across the country.

English Heritage challenged award-winning ice cream manufacturer Marshfield Farm to bring back a popular Georgian flavour and give visitors an insight into the peculiar ice-cream of the period.

A variety of Georgian flavours were taste tested, including marmalade and black tea. Brown bread was deduced to be the tastiest and it will now be on sale over the summer months.

The flavour is said to be similar to that of biscotti or nougat.

Louise Cooling, curator at English Heritage, said: “The Georgians certainly had a taste for the unusual, and this summer English Heritage have decided to indulge in that fact!

“We hope our traditional but new flavour will make visitors feel like they’ve stepped back in time when they enjoy a taste of our delicious concoction – though I imagine brown bread flavoured ice cream might not be for everyone!”

Ivan Day, a historical food chef explored the history of Georgian ice-cream saying, “while ice cream had been known in England since the 1670’s, they were an exclusive dish that appeared only on the king’s table. The earliest printed recipe appeared in Mrs. Eale’s Receipts, a little work on confectionery published in London in 1718. Some varieties that are fashionable in modern times, such as brown bread and pistachio, actually date from this period. The first English recipes for these two flavours appear in a confectionery text of 1770.”

The process of making ice creams before freezers involved a piece of equipment called a sorbetiere. Usually made of pewter, it would be nestled into a wooden bucket containing a mixture of ice and salt, with the ice cream mix then poured inside.

The technique of adding salt to the ice surrounding sorbetiere allowed mixtures to be frozen solid. Once the ice-cream mixture was poured into the sorbetiere, it was agitated using the handle, or a flat spoon, known as a spaddle.

Dawn Hawking, Owner of Marshfield Farm, said: “We were super excited to work with English Heritage on such an unusual project. We love to be creative with our flavours and take inspiration from many different places, so why not from history?”

“Brown bread ice cream is proving a divisive flavour, it’s a real ‘love it or hate it’, but we’re hoping it will get people talking and trying new flavours both from past and present!”

This new flavour has certainly adopted an unusual appeal and will be available to buy at Stonehenge this summer. The taste is supposedly delicious and if you wish to have a go and recreating this classic Georgian flavour, a recipe is linked below.


Featured photo: English Heritage

Written by
Niamh Cunningham
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Written by Niamh Cunningham