Archive for November 11th, 2008

You would think that having a national holiday involving ice cream might be a great idea in, say July or some other typically hot month, but no…..it’s November 11th, and along with Veteran’s Day, today is National Ice Cream Sundae Day.

It’s surprising what you come across when you research food holidays, like the official website of the Ice Cream Sundae; an entire page of quotes regarding the time-honored dessert and not one, but two books.

And who knew there was such blazing controversy over the origin and official ‘first served’  status of the ice cream sundae? Despite the arguments and vitriole surrounding it, the hands-down site of the first ever ice cream sundae created is known to be Ithaca, New York. From the website:

“The year was 1892. Ithaca, New York, was dotted with local drug stores, where many a nickel was spent for a dish of ice cream. After Sunday services at the Unitarian Church, Reverend John M. Scott visited the Platt & Colt Pharmacy in downtown Ithaca, New York, for his usual dish of vanilla ice cream — but on one fateful day, history was altered forever. That day, instead of plain vanilla for the Reverend, Chester Platt dipped his scoop of ice cream into a champagne saucer, poured cherry syrup over the top, and dressed it with a candied cherry. As the two men pondered over what to call the delightful new concoction, Scott proposed that it be named after the day on which it was invented: Cherry Sunday”

The controversy stems from Two Rivers, Wisconsin and it’s claim to have served a ‘soda-less’ ice cream treat, that is, ice cream without the fizzy water, and throughout the ensuing years there became quite the rivalry over this; there was an entire segment on the CBS Evening News in 2006 about the ongoing dispute and furor from the Two Rivers town manager at the time who adamantly claimed his town’s right to fame. It didn’t seem to matter to him that a copy of a newspaper in Ithaca, dated April 5, 1892 advertised the now-famous concoction at the now legendary soda fountain, Platt and Colt. Two Rivers has no such documentation, and apparently they aren’t willing to go down without a fight. Can you believe the things some people will argue about?

The best part about examining these holidays is doing the research at home.


As we sat down on a chilly November evening to indulge in ice cream, chocolate, nuts and cookies, we ended up in a friendly familial discussion over what constitutes a Tin Roof Sundae and a Turtle Sundae. Mike thought the Tin Roof was a Turtle with nuts, and Griffin insisted- because he’s 14 and knows everything– that a Turtle was with chocolate, caramel and pecans and a Tin Roof had peanuts. I looked at them both, spooning my ice cream into my mouth and wondered why they wouldn’t just stop debating and eat, for pete’s sake!

It turned out, surprisingly, that Griffin was right.

But a sundae, no matter what you put on it, is the most popular and recognizable of ice cream treats anywhere, I would wager even more so than the ice cream malt. And if you’re ever in a position to fully indulge yourself in a decadent dessert, head to Serendipity 3 Restaurant in New York City for their $1,000 ice cream sundae, composed of the following:

” The Serendipity Golden Opulence Sundae, sold by Serendipity 3 restaurant is a dessert that consists of five scoops of Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla, covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf, rare Amedei Porceleana and Chuao chocolate, American Golden caviar, passion fruit, orange and Armagnac candied fruits from Paris, marzipan cherries, and decorated with real gold dragees. The sundae is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18-karat gold spoon “

Or just get some Edy’s, Breyers, or Kemps and make your own delightful creation. Got a favorite combination??? Do share!! I love mint chip ice cream, chocolate sauce and crushed cookies. If you must add whip cream to mine, make it the real stuff!!

“It may be said that ice cream is the best drug available for both mind and body. It is spiritually uplifting, nutritious and wholesome. According to many nutritionists, the calcium in ice cream has a calming effect. A number of psychiatrists, instead of prescribing tranquilizing medication, advise their patients to have some ice cream.”
Prof. Ralph Slovenko, Journal of Psychiatry & Law

Now that’s MY kind of diagnosis!


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