119th Anniversary of the First Ice Cream Sundae?

Google's Sundae logo

The search giant attempts to settle a historic argument.

Apparently 119 years ago today someone somewhere invented the Ice Cream Sundae – the classic dish of scoops of ice cream topped with syrup, whipped cream and the ubiquitous cherry. According to Wikipedia, there is some debate about where and when the ice cream sundae was invented, but today Google has featured the ice cream sundae in their logo, giving bias to Ithaca, New York’s claim to having invented the ice cream sundae on Sunday 3 April 1892.

However, I prefer the story from Evanston, Illinois. Not only does it come from the midwest, but it’s a much more fun genesis of this classic dessert. Apparently, in 1890 Evanston passed a blue law banning ice cream sodas on Sundays, so some clever drug stores worked out that they could remove the soda and just sell the ice cream and syrup. “This sodaless soda was the Sunday soda.” These ice cream sundays were a hit despite the irreverent origin, but they eventually changed the name to “Sundae” to placate local leaders who objected to such a sinful dessert being named after the Sabbath.

Peter Gerard

Peter carried the hand-cranking ice cream tradition from his family in Missouri to Scotland and eventually to New York. He is now likely the biggest importer of White Mountain Freezers to Europe, having imported more than a dozen machines...

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