The History Of Ice Cream Sundaes
Today's Innovations in Sundaes are Delicious!
Over 119 years of Ice Cream History
On Sunday April 3, 2011 GOOGLE celebrated its researched 119th anniversary of the Ice Cream Sundae. The GOOGLE DOODLE of the day recalled the turn of the 20th Century soda fountain in the drug store that also sold gasoline (no filling stations yet). Later, there were ice cream parlors. Then, malt shops. Now we have Sonic Drive-Ins and dozens of ice cream parlor chains, all with a different gimmick.
Which of your ancestors was alive during the time that the ice cream sundae first appeared? Likely great- or even great-great-great grandparents, if your family had come to America by that date.
It was 1892.
My paternal grandfather was a young farmer during this time, born a few years after the Civil War. If the first ice cream sundaes appeared when he was young, he saw them in town when he went every Saturday to take crops and other farm-made products to market and pick up what his family needed as well. He lived many decades, outlived three wives, and had children well into his 60s. It was a hard life, because he dropped out of school at age 8 when his Dad died and farmed into his own late 70s. An ice cream sundae was probably one of his only pleasures and times for relaxation in his sunup to sundown days. More likely, he bought them for his kids and watched them enjoy the treat.
On the Farm
The Un-Named Ice Cream Sundae Before 1840
On the wintertime farms in eastern Ohio, families made ice cream from the snow, adding sugar, or honey when they kept bees, vanilla, and some milk or fresh farm cream. This tradition went back before the American Civil War and probably farther. For a sundae, although they did not name is anything at all, they dribbled honey over fresh vanilla ice cream.
For me, the ice cream sundae was invented the first time someone made ice cream from snow and put something over the top in a bowl or mug: honey, home-canned friut, dried fruit, molasses, maple syrup, homemade mincemeat (yes), and probably some other condiments. We cannot place a date on that, but I know it was done at least as far back as 1840 in my father's family, when the men were working on the National Road, Route 40.
When did the commerical ice cream sundae first appear?
A Double Scoop Controversy
Since writing most of this piece, I've found other people on the Internet that are discussing First Lady Dolly Madison's ice cream parties and Thomas Jefferson's enjoyment of ice cream with maple syrup toppings - just after the American Revolution. A jaded eye in some of these discussions points to the Android OS "Ice Cream" update soon to appear and Google's supposed attempt to offer a tie-in prelude to it with the Google Doodle of April 3. Others point to the controversy of the Ithaca New York invention for commercial sale in 1892. They feel that it was named Ice Cream Sunday and served to circumvent the Blue Laws that disallowed ice cream soda sales on Sundays. That sounds like a song title.
My grandfather was alive at the time, but he never went to New York, to my knowledge. A few of his children jumped into a Model A Ford and drove all the way to Colorado one year, buying gasoline at drug stores and probably having an ice cream sundae or soda along the way, though.
And the ice cream cone invention -- Commercially, probably the St. Louis World's Fair. But at home on the farm? If you went somewhere and took ice cream with you, you wrapped the bowl in a handkerchief or -- rolled ice cream up in a piece of leather to make a cone with the bottom folded up to prevent spills; and let the horse or dog with you lick it clean when you were finished eating.
Farmers could have been millionaires on the commercial market and it is discouraging to see so many of them failing in today's marketplace. I look forward to them inventing something else to stike the world with awe - and this time, themselves with money.
Ice Cream Cone Dance Challenge
Rate this exotic ice cream...
Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe - Dairy Free
- Two 14-oz. Cans of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 Cup of your favorite honey
- 2 TBSP Vanilla extract
Note: For holidays and variety, you can use other flavored extracts and add food coloring. I like to use orange extract and add some orange zest from a fresh fruit. You can use about anything with this basic recipe to create a range of flavors. please enjoy!
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.
- With an ice cream freezeer, follow the directions given with the machine.
- When completely frozen, ripen the ice cream in a covered plastic container for about three hours. It will last about two weeks in the freezer.
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