Today I have been thinking about Ice Cream Parlors. In reasearching the history of said parlors, I have come across a definition problem. Some sources casually mention that the first ice cream parlors in America opened in New York in the 1770s. These are actually confectioners shops that sold ice cream. By the 1820s the were tea gardens in American cities that served ice cream, but I don’t think these can count as ice cream parlors. Since we know very little about the confectioners shops of the 18th century I don’t think we can call those ice cream parlors either. Did customers sit in them and eat ice cream or were they just shops where dessert orders were picked up or delivered to customers? The sources are newspaper advertisements and they don’t include any clues.
So how do we define an ice cream parlor? And where do they start? If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. When I know more, I will post about it.