|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Ice cream, sauce or syrup, various toppings|
A sundae ( /ˈsʌndeɪ, ˈsʌndi/) is an ice cream dessert of American origin that typically consists of one or more scoops of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup and other toppings such as sprinkles, whipped cream, marshmallows, peanuts, maraschino cherries, or other fruits (e.g. bananas and pineapple in a banana split).
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure.
Among the many stories about the invention of the sundae, a frequent theme is that the ice cream sundae was a variation of the popular ice cream soda. According to an account published by the Evanston Public Library (Illinois), the sale of soda was prohibited on Sundays in Illinois because they were considered too "frilly". Other origin stories for the sundae focus on the novelty or inventiveness of the treat or the name of the originator and make no mention of legal pressures.
The ice cream sundae soon became the weekend semi-official soda fountain confection at the beginning of the 1900s and quickly gained popularity. The Ice Cream Trade Journal for 1909 listed, along with plain, or French sundae, such unique varieties as Robin Hood sundae, Cocoa Caramel sundae, Black Hawk sundae, Angel Cake sundae, Cherry Dip sundae, Cinnamon Peak sundae, Opera sundae, Fleur D'Orange sundae, Knickerbocker sundae, Tally-Ho Sundae, Bismarck and George Washington sundaes, to name a few.
In 2019, McDonald's Portugal promoted a sundae for Halloween with advertising that dubbed it "Sundae Bloody Sundae". This generated controversy on social networks in the British-Irish territories due to the name's connotation with the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972. McDonald's issued an apology and withdrew promotions with the name.
Various localities have claimed to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, including Plainfield, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. According to What's Cooking America, the biggest rivalry (referred to as the "Sundae War") to claim the invention of the ice cream sundae is between Two Rivers, Wisconsin and Ithaca, New York.
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".
Residents of Two Rivers have contested the claims of other cities to the right to claim the title "birthplace of the ice cream sundae". When Ithaca, New York, 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. Berners would have only been 16 or 17 in 1881, so 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.
Buffalo's Stoddart Bros. Drug Store advertised serving up ice cream sodas garnished with fruit syrup and whipped cream in the pages of The Buffalo Evening News and the Buffalo Courier as early as 1889.
Evanston was one of the first locations to pass a blue law against selling ice cream sodas in 1890. "Some ingenious confectioners and drug store operators [in Evanston]... obeying the law, served ice cream with the syrup of your choice without the soda [on Sundays]. Thereby complying with the law… This sodaless soda was the Sunday soda." As sales of the dessert continued on Mondays, local Methodist leaders then objected to naming the dish after the Sabbath, so the spelling of the name was changed to sundae.
Supporting Ithaca's claim to be "the birthplace of the ice cream sundae", researchers at The History Center in Tompkins County, New York, provide an account of how the sundae came to be: On Sunday, April 3, 1892, in Ithaca, John M. Scott, a Unitarian Church minister, and Chester Platt, co-owner of Platt & Colt Pharmacy, created the first historically documented sundae. 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".
Plainfield, Illinois has also claimed to be the home of the very first ice cream sundae. A local belief is that a Plainfield druggist named Mr. Sonntag created the dish "after the urgings of patrons to serve something different." He named it the "sonntag" after himself, and since Sonntag means Sunday in German, the name was translated to Sunday, and later was spelled sundae. Charles Sonntag established himself as a pharmacist after graduating from pharmacy school in 1890. He worked for several years under the employ of two local druggists, Dr. David W. Jump and F. R. Tobias. Sonntag established his own pharmacy (as early as 1893 and no later than 1895) in a building constructed in the months following a December 1891 fire that devastated one side of the town's business district. His store advertised "Sonntag's Famous Soda" and was, likely, the first soda fountain in the Village of Plainfield.
The original sundae consists of vanilla ice cream topped with a flavored sauce or syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. Classic sundaes are typically named after flavored syrup employed in the recipe: cherry sundae, chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, raspberry sundae, etc. The classic sundae is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped, footed glass vase. Due to the long association between the shape of the glass and the dessert, this style of serving dish is generally now known as a sundae glass.
Main article: Banana split
This dessert consists of two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. The classic banana split consists of strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with crushed pineapple, and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry syrup. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
Parfait is a sundae served in a tall glass filled with layers of ice cream or yogurt, gelatine, and flavorings such as syrups, whipped cream, granola, fresh fruit, and/or liqueurs.
Main article: Knickerbocker glory
This ice cream sundae is served in a large tall glass, consisting of layers of ice cream, jelly, fruit, and cream, topped with syrup, nuts, whipped cream, and often a cherry; it is popular in the United Kingdom.
Sliced or chopped fruit that has been sugared and let to sit for an hour or more to form a sweet syrup may be substituted for the flavored sauce or syrup of the classic sundae. Fresh fruit sundaes include named variations such as the strawberry, peach, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and mixed fruit sundaes. Fresh fruit sundaes are generally served during the summer months, and they are sometimes advertised as specialty offerings in agricultural areas where particular fruits are grown.
Jarred fruit products are also available which are made specifically for the preparation of ice cream sundaes, often sweetened and in a thickened flavored juice. Sundaes can also be topped with canned fruits.
Heated-sauce sundaes are those in which the flavored sauce or syrup is heated before being poured over the ice cream, creating appealing differences in temperature as well as texture.
This sundae features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with creamy white marshmallow sauce, topped with Spanish peanuts. The Tin Roof Sundae was created in 1916, at the Potter Drug Co., in Potter, Nebraska, owned by pharmacist James Earl Thayer. His son, Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, worked in the soda fountain as a teenager and is credited for inventing the ice cream treat. According to Dr. J.E. Thayer of Sidney, there are two stories of how the sundae got its name. The first is that it was inspired by the tin ceiling in the business; the other is that the stable across the street had a tin roof and that he named it after that. The Tin Roof Sundae can still be enjoyed in Potter, Nebraska, where the Potter Drug Co., now called the Potter Sundry, is still in operation.
This is a rich sundae made with brownies, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, peanuts, hot fudge, and whipped cream, often topped with a maraschino cherry.
This sundae consists of vanilla ice cream, crushed strawberry, crushed pineapple, whipped cream, and a cherry. It is named for the protagonist in the 1899 book David Harum; A Story of American Life.
Some ingenious confectioners and drug store operators, in "Heavenston," served ice cream with the syrup of your choice without the soda, thereby complying with the law. They did not serve ice cream sodas. They served sodas without soda on Sunday. This soda-less soda was the Sunday soda. It proved palatable and popular and orders for Sundays began to cross the counters on Mondays
The ice cream sundae story dates back to 1881 when chocolate sauce was used to make ice cream sodas at Ed Berners' soda fountain at 1404 15th Street. One day, a vacationing George Hallauer - a Two Rivers native then living in Illinois - asked Berners to put some of the chocolate sauce over a dish of ice cream. According to a 1929 interview with Berners, he apparently didn't think it was a good idea.
On Sunday afternoon, April 3, 1892, after services at the Unitarian Church, Reverend John M. Scott paid his usual visit to the Platt & Colt Pharmacy in downtown Ithaca. Shop proprietor, Chester C. Platt, was church treasurer and he met often with Scott for conversation after services. Seeking refreshment for himself and the reverend, Platt asked his fountain clerk, DeForest Christiance, for two bowls of ice cream. But instead of serving the reverend plain vanilla, Platt took the bowls and topped each with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. The finished dish looked delightful and tasted delicious—so much so that the men felt obliged to name the new creation. After some debate, Scott suggested that it be named for the day it was created. Platt concurred and the first "Cherry Sunday" was born.
Ice Cream sundaes were invented when it became illegal to sell ice-cream sodas on a Sunday in the American town of Evanston during the late 19th century. To get around the problem some traders replaced the soda with syrup and called the dessert an "Ice Cream Sunday." They replaced the final "y" with an "e" to avoid upsetting religious leaders…
Plainfield is also claimed to be the home of the very first ice cream sundae. The story says that a Plainfield druggist created the novelty after the urgings of patrons to serve something different. Topping some ice cream with syrup, he named it the "sonntag" after his surname. Sonntag means Sunday in German, thus the ice cream sundae was born.