Everybody loves ice cream especially in the scorching months of summer, although a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor would generally make a fine dessert or a snack anytime, all year-round. However, without the ice cream scoop, it would be quite messy enjoying your favorite cold dessert, right?
The ubiquitous ice cream scoop has been around since the later part of the 19th century. The modern-day design had its roots in 1897 although it was actually around 1878 when the very first device used primarily for the scooping of ice creams onto plates (yes, onto plates as there were no cones yet at the time; the ice cream cone came much later, in 1904 to be exact) was conceptualized.
Before this period however, scooping ice cream onto separate serving plates, glasses, bowls, or mugs required the person to use two spoons to scoop ice cream from its cold storage. One spoon scooped the ice cream while the other was used to scrape the ice cream off the other spoon. And since the spoon had a rather slightly curved design, not the hemispherical design that commercial ice cream scoops are known for today, the ice cream was not presentable at all. And if you were to be served these ice creams, you will surely not be tempted to dig-in too. If you are going to have ice cream at home, perhaps a spoon will work. But not if youre serving them in a diner.
In 1878, this issue was solved. Using a funnel- or cone-shaped device with a scraper inside operated by turning a knob or a key located at the tip or the end of the cone, it was George William Clewell who technically moved people away from using 2 spoons for scooping ice cream and instead use a single utensil. One simply had to scoop the ice cream using the utensil, then turn the knob at the end of the cone to release the ice cream onto the serving container. There is one minor problem, though. You still have to use both hands to operate the utensil one to hold the utensil and one to turn the knob to scrape and release the ice cream. These were the first metal scoops used.
This was essentially solved some 19 years later in 1897 when Alfred L. Cralle designed the progenitor of the modern ice cream scoop a hemispherical scoop with an internal scraper operated by a lever-action attached to the handle of the ice scream scoop. This effectively solved the problem of the Clewell design by allowing the user to hold the ice cream scoop on one hand and scrape and release the ice cream using the same hand. The design proved very convenient especially among diners that need to serve multiple plates or glasses of ice cream at a time. By the time the ice cream cone was invented, the Cralle design has become synonymous with ice cream, whihc later led to a huge variation in the type of ice scoops for sale including plastic scoops.
It may have a very modest beginning but the ice cream scoop is now considered as one of the greatest inventions in the world of frozen desserts.