A Sundae scuffle: Who really invented the ice cream sundae?

Nov. 11 is Sundae day. Two communities claim to have invented the sweet treat. iStock/Special to The Forum

Cue the rumble music: Ithaca, New York and Two Rivers, Wis. — take your corners.

Both cities claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae, which is front and center on National Sundae Day, Monday, Nov. 11.

But who is right? Here is the evidence, we'll let you decide:

Two Rivers Story

According to National Day Calendar , Two Rivers says the sundae was invented in their town in 1881 when druggist Edward Berners served the concoction to customer George Hallauer. Hallauer had ordered an ice cream soda, but because it was the sabbath, soda was not allowed, so Berners improvised and served the ice cream with a dish and left out the soda. He replaced it with chocolate syrup and Ba-bam! The ice cream sundae was born.

Ithaca's Story

Ithaca, New York says "Not so fast, Wisconsin." That city says it has the first record of an ice cream sundae in an advertisement in the Ithaca Daily Journal dated October 5, 1892. They say the ice cream sundae (or Sunday, as they said) was born when Chester Platt of Platt & Colt Pharmacy and his pastor Reverend John M. Scott stopped at the pharmacy for a treat. They decided to top their vanilla ice cream with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. Trying to figure out what they should name their delicious treat, the two men opted for the day of the week on which they ate it. It doesn't really where it was invented. Over the last century or so, Americans have gotten very serious about their sundae game. Just about anything is fair game, and one restaurant is selling a sundae — complete with truffles and real gold — for $1,000 a piece. The restaurant estimates it sells one of these sundaes every day.


But you don't need to spend a lot of money to make a great ice cream sundae. A great sundae with all the toppings can cost as little as a dollar or two. According to Spoon University, the best ice cream sundae toppings are (in this order): hot fudge, sprinkles, caramel, Oreos, Peanut butter cups, cookie dough, whipped cream, hard chocolate coating, melted marshmallows, cereal, nuts and fruit.

article4754559.ece What is your favorite sundae topping? What is your favorite sundae topping? Hot fudge Sprinkles Caramel

Other holidays this week:

Monday, Nov. 11 - Veterans Day
Tuesday, Nov. 12 - Chicken Soup for the Soul Day
Wednesday, Nov. 13 - World Kindness Day
Thursday, Nov. 14 - Pickle Day
Friday, Nov. 15 - Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day
Saturday, Nov. 16 - Fast Food Day
Sunday, Nov. 17 - Baklava Day

Tracy Briggs is an Emmy-nominated News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 35 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
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