Many believe the history of Neapolitan ice cream can trace it roots back to Spumoni – a traditional form of ice cream originating in southern Italy and made of multiple blocks of ice cream put together. The most popular flavors of Spumoni are Cherry, Chocolate, and Pistachio.
As legend goes, in the 19th century, immigrants to the United States from southern Italy (namely Naples) brought along the recipes popular in their homeland including Spumoni. The dessert likely adapted to popular local flavors at the time Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry.
The rise in popularity of Neapolitan Ice Cream however probably started in Paris where Italian ran confectioner shops served a style of ice cream formed from multiple blocks of flavors put together sometimes referred to as “cake”. The ice cream specialties became known as “Italian ice creams” or “Neapolitan ice creams”.
Whatever the history of Neapolitan ice cream, it is a staple in ice cream shops across the the US.