sundae n : ice cream served with a topping [syn: ice-cream sundae]
EtymologyModification of the word Sunday.
- Japanese: サンデー, パフェ
The sundae is one of the most familiar ice cream desserts in the United States. It typically consists of a scoop of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup (often chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, or strawberry), and in some cases other toppings such as chopped peanuts, whipped cream, or maraschino cherries.
History and controversyAccording to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure. Various American localities have claimed to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. These claimants include Ithaca, New York; Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Plainfield, Illinois; Evanston, Illinois; New York City; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cleveland, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. In recent years, officials in Two Rivers and Ithaca have used the controversy to gain publicity for their cities.
Of the many stories about the invention of the sundae, one frequent theme is the sinfulness of the ice cream soda and the need to produce a substitute for the popular treat for consumption on Sunday.
Ithaca and Two Rivers rivalryThere is currently a heated debate between Ithaca and Two Rivers over which city has the right to claim the title "birthplace of the ice cream sundae." When Ithaca mayor Carolyn K. Peterson proclaimed a day to celebrate her city as the birthplace of the sundae, she received postcards from Two Rivers' citizens reiterating that town's claim. Ithaca retaliated with an ad called "Got Proof?" in the Two Rivers newspaper.
Two Rivers' claim is based on the story of George Hallauer asking Edward C. Berners, the owner of Berners' Soda Fountain, to drizzle chocolate syrup over ice cream in 1881. Berners eventually did and wound up selling the treat for a nickel, originally only on Sundays, but later every day. According to this story, the spelling changed when a glass salesman ordered canoe-shaped dishes. When Berners died in 1939, the Chicago Tribune headlined his obituary "Man Who Made First Ice Cream Sundae Is Dead." Two Ithaca High School students, however, claim that Berners would have only been 16 or 17 in 1881 and it is therefore "improbable" that he would have owned an ice cream shop in that year. They also state that the obituary dates Berners' first sundae to 1899 rather than 1881.
Supporting Ithaca's claim, researchers at The History Center in Tompkins County, New York, provide a differing account of how the sundae came to be: On Sunday, April 3, 1892 in Ithaca, John M. Scott, a Unitarian Church reverend, and Chester C. Platt, co-owner of Platt & Colt Pharmacy, created the first historically documented sundae. Mr. Platt covered dishes of ice cream with cherry syrup and candied cherries on a whim. The men named the dish "Cherry Sunday" in honor of the day it was created. The oldest-known written evidence of a sundae is Platt & Colt's newspaper ad for a "Cherry Sunday" placed in the Ithaca Daily Journal on April 5, 1892. By May, 1892, the Platt & Colt soda fountain also served "Strawberry Sundays," and later, "Chocolate Sundays." Platt & Colt's "Sundays" grew so popular that by 1894, Chester Platt attempted to trademark the term ice cream "Sunday." The later spelling "sundae" is believed to have originated in Evanston, Illinois as a less blasphemous name for the ice cream treat some time after the "Sunday" spelling was popularized in Ithaca.
Hot fudge sundaeThe classic hot fudge sundae is often a creation of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce (hence the "hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single bright-red maraschino cherry on top. A hot fudge sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream; though, as a chocolate sauce is generally favored, non-chocolate ice cream flavors are preferred.
Turtle sundaeThe popular combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, and toasted pecans is known as a turtle sundae.
Brownie sundaeA rich sundae is often used with brownies, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, peanuts, whip cream and is often served with a single bright-red maraschino cherry on top.
Banana splitThree sundaes in one, side by side between two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. Includes strawberry ice cream topped with strawberry syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream topped with crushed pineapple. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a cherry.
Bananas FosterThis is a sundae that features a flambé of bananas with rum, banana liquor and spices.
American parfaitThis is a sundae served in a tall glass filled with layers of ice cream and flavorings, such as granola, syrups, or liqueurs.
Most expensiveAt a price of 1000 U.S. dollars, the most expensive ice cream sundae is the Serendipity Golden Opulence Sundae, sold by Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York City.. The dessert 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, 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.
- The self-proclaimed Official Website of the Ice Cream Sundae, by Ithaca resident and author Michael Turback
- Wisconsin Historical Society ice cream marker
- Historical documents supporting Ithaca as the birthplace of the sundae
sundae in Dutch: Sundae (ijs)
sundae in Japanese: サンデー (デザート)
sundae in Chinese: 圣代