Sundae – A Dessert Not Just for Sundays


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A sundae is a sweet ice cream dessert consisting of one or more scoops topped with syrup and other toppings. In some cases, a sundae is served with sprinkles, maraschino, whipped cream, cherries and other fruits. The origin of the word “sundae” is vague. However, it is generally accepted that the name and spelling was derived from the English word “Sunday”.

Sundae and its amazing history

Some historians claim that the name “sundae” was made in response to the “Blue Laws” which prohibits the drinking of soda on Sundays in Illinois. In those times, the law prohibits the sale of ice cream sodas, especially on Sabbath because they are “frilly.” The clergy started preaching against them. Some historians explained that the dish gone by other names at various times, including “sundi” and “sondhi” to avoid offending the sensibilities of the religious sector, which might be offended, naming scoops of ice cream and syrup being named after Sabbath. However, this claim was never proven.

In the beginning of 1900s, ice cream sundae became the semi-official soda fountain confection on weekends. Since then, it has gained popularity all over the US quickly.

The origin of the recipe is disputed until these days. The biggest rivalry to claim its origin is disputed between Two Rivers, Wisconsin and Ithaca, New York. In fact, the dispute dates back from 1970s with the mayors of these cities exchanging letters and insults. For several decades, the two cities have fought in a good-natured “Sundae War.”

Types of Sundaes

An ordinary person can make his own sundae from his kitchen. A scoop of ice cream topped with whatever he can find in his fridge that suits his taste is already a home-made, personalized sundae. There are types of sundaes that are known in a particular region or globally. Some of the most common sundaes include Classic ice cream sundae, Fresh fruit sundaes, Heated-sauce sundaes, Hot fudge sundae, Double fudge sundae, Caramel sundae, Turtle sundae, Butterscotch sundae, Black and white sundae, Brownie sundae, Banana splits, American parfait and Knickerbocker glory.

The Serendipity Golden Opulence Sundae and Serendipity Frozen Haute Chocolate are the most expensive ice cream sundaes priced at US$1,000 and US$25,000 respectively. It is sold by Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York City.

Sundae and Gelato

A gelato is a healthy version of ice cream from Italy. Unlike the traditional ice cream, a gelato contains less fat than ice cream because it does not use egg yolks in its base. Many gelato parlors are serving their sundaes using gelato rather than the typical ice cream. Each serve of gelato sundae is more delicious because of the soft texture of the gelato, not to mention it’s a healthier option.

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