A History of the Humble Sundae

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The humble sundae isn’t so simple when it comes to its past. Here’s some fodder for your servers, courtesy of Anne Funderburgh, historian and author of “Sundae Best.”

Several cities claim to have invented the sundae. They include: New Orleans; Ithaca, New York; Two Rivers, Wisconsin; and Evanston, Illinois.

The original sundae, which can be traced back to the late 1800s, consisted of a small bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup. Over the next five years, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry were added.

During the 1890s Blue Laws prevented the sale of sundaes on Sunday because it became a widely popular Sunday treat and competed with the Christian Sabbath.

Retailers adopted the spelling of “sundae” because advertising a “Sunday Special” would lead consumers to believe that the treat was only available on Sunday.