As with all great inventions, the waffle cone is surrounded by controversy. If science is correct, the essence of the waffle cone began in the Neolithic period as a prototype cake that was often used as a portable holder for everything from meat to vegetables. Throughout history, it was made in different sizes and from various ingredients, but it retained its crisscross pattern throughout.
Fast forward to the 1904 World’s Fair where a Syrian concessionaire named Ernest Hamwi was making pastries, one of which was zalabia. He was positioned next to an ice cream vendor who ran out of glass cups to sell his frozen ices and the two collaborated, selling the ices in the deep-fried treats.
However, in 1903 Hoboken resident, Italo Marchiony, was a street vendor selling lemon ices on Wall Street. The ices were sold in glass cups that were supposed to be returned to the vendor, but the busy Wall Street traders typically walked away with the cups and never returned them. The loss of the cups was cutting into Marchiony’s profits.
The solution was an edible cup. He’d been working on a device to make ice cream cones since 1896. Marchiony filed for a patent in 1902 and it was granted in 1903. His waffle cones were a hit everywhere they were sold.
According to the Hoboken Historical Museum, Hamwi was an exhibitor at the World’s Fair and he was making zalabis when Marchiony asked Hamwi to roll some of the zalibis so he could use them as cones for his ice cream. According to the Museum, Marchiony was also responsible for the first ice cream sandwiches.
Today, people can choose from cake cones, sugar cones and waffle cones. It’s said that the type of cone a person chooses is an indicator of their personality. Waffle cone fans will be happy to know that they’re fun, enthusiastic, independent, and enjoy the finer things in life.
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