"The ice cream sundae". Just saying the words instantly teleports us to the end of a long summer's day – are you sitting at the sand's edge on a beach boardwalk? Maybe perched at the counter in an old-fashioned diner? Or in the backyard, enjoying a homemade sundae with your pals?
The sundae is an iconic summer treat, and a positively American one at that (take a hike, apple pie). But from the Hot Fudge Sundae, to the Banana Split, it's time for a new twist on this classic – enter the "Split" Sundae, featuring our new Whole Foods exclusive flavor, Cashew + Sour Cherry Split. A special thank you to our friends at Three Twins Ice Cream for providing the key ingredient, and to Whole Foods for carrying every ingredient you need!
1 Ice Cream scoop
1 Sundae Glass
2 mixing bowls
3 scoops of Three Twins Vanilla Ice Cream
1 jar of Santa Cruz Organic Hot Fudge
2 packs of Cashew & Sour Cherry Split
1 bag of shredded and toasted coconut
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
½ cup dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup cashews, chopped
Thoroughly mix chopped chocolate, coconut, and cashews in a bowl.
Pour Hot Fudge into a second bowl.
Knead the Split packs.
Wash, pit, and halve the cherries.
Like many traditional American creations, the origins of the ice cream sundae is unclear and hotly contested. And we say hotly contested, we mean it – Two Rivers, Wisconsin and Ithaca, New York are in a "cold war" of sorts, while Evanston, Illinois claims the name of "sundae" as its own.
Back in the day, soda (or pop, cola, soft drink, whatever you might call it) consisted of two parts: soda water as the base, and soda syrup as the sweetener. In 1881, Wisconsin's Ed Berners heard a special request to make an ice cream float, minus the soda water. The result was a bowl of ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup. Unheard of, but delicious. Platt & Colt's shop in Ithaca made the same discovery a decade later, but with cherry syrup and candied cherries on top. The difference? Ithaca has proof:
All the while, the town of Evanston had decided that the consumption of soda beverages during the Sabbath was a sinful habit, and opted to ban the sale of soda water on Sundays. Local shops spotted a loophole to keep business booming – keep syrup on the menu, but replace the soda water with another base… why not ice cream? To avoid offending the local ministry, they dubbed the Sunday-only treat "ice cream sundae".
Wherever the dish was born, it boomed in the early 20th century – becoming a go-to American dessert that was cool, decadent, affordable, and perfect for sharing with your sweetheart.
As the sundae spread across the States, regional variations began cropping up. Unique toppings, varying bases, and sauces of all kinds were added to the basic foundation. Hot Fudge became an iconic variation, having been perfected in CC Brown's parlor in Hollywood, California in 1906. Brown served his sundae in a flute, which allowed the freshly-molten fudge to run down the sides of the glass and make its way into every bite.
The ice cream sundae, with its conflicting origin stories and countless regional recipes, is authentically American, if nothing else – born from pure curiosity and our knack for mixing and matching. And while some are content with the classics, others are still striving to make the most over-the-top sundaes possible, from Ben & Jerry's "Vermonster" to Ghirardelli's "Earthquake". At the end of the day, what makes the sundae special is that it's totally customizable – building your perfect sundae is (almost) as fun as eating it!
Check out the recipe for our "Split" Sundae above, but feel free to color outside the lines...