The History of The Ice Cream Sundae

The History of The Ice Cream Sundae

The exact moment the sundae was invented is a hotly-contested matter, but the most popular consensus is that once upon a time in an ice cream parlor in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, an owner was asked by a customer to pour chocolate syrup over his ice cream, thus inventing the sundae.

Although there are many other towns across the country that dispute this fact and claim that the humble sundae was invented elsewhere, the only thing that really matters is that it was indeed invented at all.

Ice cream parlors were an instant hit in the early days of the United States. First appearing in Paris, France, in the 17th Century, having been brought there by Italian immigrants, it soon spread across Europe and, eventually, to the New World.  Us Americans were hooked right away with the vibrant colors and fascinating flavors, as well as all the candy and sodas available, and it wasn’t very long before the ice cream parlor became a staple treat for most American families.

By the time the sundae had made its mark, ice cream was available just about anywhere including drugstores, diners and restaurants. This was thanks largely to the availability of ice cream making machines. The machines had been about since the mid-19th Century but it wasn’t until they became powered that things really took off. Now, stores could knock up their own fresh batches of ice cream as well as experiment with flavors and dishes. This boosted sales no end. After all, every town has a kid in it and every kid loves ice cream!

For over two hundred years, ice creams, and the ice cream sundae have been putting smiles on our faces both as kids and adults, and it remains to this day one of the most popular desserts ever made.

What makes the ultimate ice cream sundae?

Well, like most simple but effective dishes, the sundae has a host of variations and ways of doing things. However, throw together any combination of fresh fruit, quality ice cream, chopped nuts and, of course, chocolate syrup, all served in a long dish with whipped cream and some cherries on the top, and you can’t really go wrong.

If you’ve ever wondered why it’s called a sundae and not a Sunday, you’re not alone. As with all great things, the origins are shrouded in myth and legend. Well, maybe that’s a little bit dramatic but nobody seems to know for sure. One of the popular answers is that the contested inventor, the guy we mentioned at the start, only ever sold the dish on a Sunday. This would soon become known as ‘Ice Cream Sunday’ in households all across Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and, one assumes, the store owner picked up on that and ran with it. As for the spelling; well, that is a mystery!

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