The Empress of Ice Cream, By Anthony Capella

Anthony Capella's gastro-romance explores the unexpectedly heated history of ice cream. When a young Italian kitchen hand, Carlo Demirco, arrives at the court of Louis XIV, he works with the King's "limonadier" perfecting the art of chilled cordials and sorbets.

Sent to London with Louise de Keroualle, Charles II's new mistress, he starts to appreciate the possibilities of English custards and possets, and how once combined with ice, they might produce the most magical confection of all.

In this lively account, Capella surmises how ice cream came to make its first recorded appearance on one of Charles's royal menus in 1671.

In a departure from his previous fiction, Capella's account proves less interested in romantic temptation than the curious history of culinary triumph.

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