The sundae is an ice cream dessert. 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 nuts, whipped cream, or maraschino cherries.

History and controversy

According 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 rivalry

There 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. [Laura Zaichkin, "Sundae wars continue between Ithaca and Two Rivers," "Ithaca Journal", June 30, 2006] Ithaca retaliated with an ad called "Got Proof?" in the Two Rivers newspaper.Fact|date=June 2007

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."cite news | title = Man Who Made First Ice Cream Sundae Is Dead | work = Chicago Daily Tribune | pages = 1 | language = English | publisher = Chicago Tribune | date = 1939-07-02 | accessdate = 2007-06-27] [cite web |url= |title= Two Rivers - The REAL Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae |publisher= Two Rivers Economic Development |accessdate=2007-06-26] 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.cite news | title = New intel in the sundae wars: IHS grads scoop up ice cream facts | work = The Ithaca Journal | language = English | date = 2007-07-26 | url= |accessdate = 2007-07-26] [Actually, the obituary only notes the sundae's creation "...about forty years ago..." not specifically in 1899, although that is what the math works out to.]

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. "The Ithaca Journal" "New intel in the sundae wars: IHS grads scoop up ice cream facts" June 26, 2007, accessed June 26, 2007] [cite web |url= |title=Ithaca's Gift to the World |author=Michael Turback |year=2004 |accessdate=2007-06-26 "The author is an Ithaca resident."] 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." [cite web |url=|title=Documenting Ithaca New York as the Home of the Ice Cream Sundae|author=Ithaca Convention & Visitors Bureau |year=2007 |accessdate=2007-08-20 "This website includes jpgs of Ithaca's historical documentation."] 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 sundae

The 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 sundae

The popular combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, and toasted pecans is known as a turtle sundae.

Brownie sundae

A rich sundae made with brownies, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, peanuts, and whipped cream, often topped with a single bright-red maraschino cherry.

Banana split

Three 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 Foster

This is a sundae that features a flambé of bananas with rum, banana liquor and spices.

American parfait

This is a sundae served in a tall glass filled with layers of ice cream and flavorings, such as granola, syrups, or liqueurs.

Most expensive

At 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. [cite web |url= |title=Serious Food |publisher=Serendipity3 |accessdate=2006-06-26] . 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. [cite web |url= |title=Got $1,000? Why Not Try a Golden Opulence Sundae? |publisher=Daily Olive |accessdate=2006-09-02]


External links

* 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]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sundae — de fresa El sundae o dominguera[cita requerida] es un postre helado que generalmente consiste en una bola de helado cubierto con salsa o jarabe (a menudo de chocolate, caramelo, fresa o dulce de leche), y en algunos casos, otros ingredientes …   Wikipedia Español

  • sundae — (n.) 1897, American English, thought to be an alteration of SUNDAY (Cf. Sunday), perhaps re spelled in deference to religious feelings; but the reason for the name is uncertain; perhaps ice cream left over from Sunday, on sale later. For a fuller …   Etymology dictionary

  • sundae — ► NOUN ▪ a dish of ice cream with added ingredients such as fruit, nuts, and syrup. ORIGIN perhaps from SUNDAY(Cf. ↑Sunday), either because the dish was made with ice cream left over from Sunday, or because it was sold only on Sundays …   English terms dictionary

  • sundae — ☆ sundae [sun′dā, sun′dē ] n. [prob. < SUNDAY1, from being orig. sold only on this day] a serving of ice cream covered with a syrup, fruit, nuts, whipped cream, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Sundae — Un sundae au chocolat. Un sundae est un dessert à base de crème glacée, d origine américaine. Il est généralement surmonté d une sauce ou d un sirop, ainsi qu éventuellement d éclats de noix de pécan, noisettes ou noix, de vermicelles ou de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sundae — n. a butterscotch; cherry; chocolate; hot fudge; strawberry sundae * * * [ sʌndeɪ] cherry chocolate hot fudge strawberry sundae a butterscotch …   Combinatory dictionary

  • sundae — [[t]sʌ̱ndeɪ, di[/t]] sundaes N COUNT: usu n N A sundae is a tall glass of ice cream with whipped cream and nuts or fruit on top. ...a chocolate sundae …   English dictionary

  • sundae — UK [ˈsʌndeɪ] / US [ˈsʌnˌdeɪ] noun [countable] Word forms sundae : singular sundae plural sundaes ice cream served with a sweet sauce, and nuts, fruit, and syrup …   English dictionary

  • sundae — noun Sundae is used after these nouns: ↑ice cream …   Collocations dictionary

  • sundae — sun|dae [ˈsʌndeı US di] n [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Probably from Sunday] a dish made from ↑ice cream, fruit, sweet sauce, nuts etc ▪ a chocolate sundae …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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