Take every good thing you can imagine. Rich creamy chocolate, candied pecans, colored sprinkles, fruit, what have you. Now put it all on, in, and around your favorite ice-cream. That’s a sundae, and it’s heaven.Anonymous
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! In the world of desserts, there exists a delightful marriage that happens when a sundae is put together. It is a blending of all of those favorite things in one delightful place, where they might make the transit from bowl to mouth in a single, well-laden spoonful.
National Sundae Day celebrates this incredible treat, as well as its uncertain and somewhat contested past.
It’s time for National Sundae Day!
History of National Sundae Day
National Sundae Day was established to celebrate this delicious ice cream treat, and there is really no question about the origins of the day. However the same can not be said of the sundae itself. It is a treat that multiple places claim to have created, and yet no one place has been able to truly prove its claim to. So, to understand the history of the Sundae properly, it’s probably best to take a look at a couple of these different stories.
The first claim seems to come from Two Rivers, Wisconsin in the United States, a beautiful city on the Lake Michigan shore, 40 miles southeast of Green Bay. Here, back in 1881, a certain man named Ed Berners, having been asked to do so by a customer on vacation, added chocolate syrup to a simple vanilla ice cream bowl.
Berners questioned how good it would be, given that soda was far more common a topper for ice cream at the time–particularly since the restaurant he was running was actually a soda fountain! Even so, the results of the addition of chocolate syrup were nothing less than game-changing. It took no time at all for the proprietor to add it to the menu and mix in all sorts of other ingredients with it as well.
Of course, that’s just one of the stories. Ithaca, New York would put forth that on a certain Sunday in April of 1892, a man by the name of Reverend John Scott visited Chester Platt at his establishment, Platt & Colt Pharmacy.
In one important moment of creativity, Mr. Platt decided he would create the “Cherry Sunday”, adorning simple vanilla ice cream with cherry syrup and a single candied cherry.
Who’s right? Well, the paper trail supports Ithaca, but that doesn’t stop Two Rivers from standing by its claim.
Other historians claim that the ice cream Sundae was truly created in response to the “blue laws” of the time. Since clergy had started preaching against the practice of “sucking sodas”, the soda fountain owners made an alternative to appease the super religious people of the time.
Whatever the reason, everyone is surely glad now that this delicious treat was creatively invented and has been around for more than 100 years!
How to Celebrate National Sundae Day
Celebrating this day is simple and certainly enjoyable! Try out these interesting ideas for paying heed to this special day:
Eat an Ice Cream Sundae
Go out and get a delicious sundae with a favorite combination of ingredients! Of course, if for those who want to be a traditionalist, it’s an easy choice to go with a chocolate-drizzled sundae. Or would that be a “Cherry Sunday” with the syrup and candied cherry topping? There’s no need to take sides–just serve up both for National Sundae Day with neither apology nor regret.
Host an Ice Cream National Sundae Day Gathering
Grab a few friends or coworkers and get to enjoy this delightful day. An easy way to get everyone to participate is to have people sign up to bring a variety of ingredients and then set up a toppings bar. Ideas for toppings might include syrups (chocolate, caramel, strawberry, or hot fudge), nuts (peanuts, pecans, and cashews), candies (gummy bears or M&Ms), rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream and so much more!
Enjoy a Unique Flavor of Ice Cream Sundae
Just like most things in life, the basics are great but can be taken to a whole new level with just a few simple steps. Going far beyond the basic sundae, some gourmet ice cream sundaes include unique ingredients that take things over the top. Whether ordering them at a special restaurant or making them at home, try out these ideas for inspiration:
- Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae with Cinnamon Sugar Almonds. It’s just as heavenly as it sounds like it should be. Drizzle caramel sauce over a couple of scoops of salted caramel ice cream. Add a dollop of fresh whipping cream and a sprinkle cinnamon-sugared almonds.
- Grilled Strawberry and Honey Balsamic Sauce Sundae. Blending sweet with savory, this sundae offers a unique flavor. Vanilla bean ice cream is topped with strawberries (grilled for sweetness) and a honey balsamic glaze.
- Crunchy Bourbon Peanut Butter Sundae. Dip two scoops of ice cream (one butter pecan, one butter brickle), then drizzle with hot fudge that has been mixed with a shot of bourbon. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle on some peanut butter filled pretzel bites. Yum!
- Vietnamese Coffee Sundae with Crushed Peanut Brittle. Start by making a peanut-caramel topping mixture and baking in the oven until hard; then break into small pieces. Make a sauce by whipping together instant coffee and sweetened condensed milk. Pour sauce and pieces of brittle over scoops of vanilla ice cream, then top with whipped cream.