August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.
We love this ice cream sandwich sundae, served at the New York Central Bar and Kitchen, located in the Grand Hyatt Hotel right above Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.
You can make it at home by adapting New York Central Bar & Kitchen’s recipe with your own favorite flavors.
Theirs combines summery flavors and colors:
According to the New York Times, the American ice cream sandwich was born in the Bowery neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in the early 1899s.
The innovation came when a pushcart vendor placed vanilla ice cream slices between two graham cracker wafers and sold them for a penny to shoe shine boys and stockbrokers.*
In an article in The New York Tribune in July 1900, the pushcart vendor who was selling the sandwiches was so busy pressing them into a tin mold to order, that he didn’t have time to make change. He insisted that customers pay the exact price of one cent.
The treat was revolutionary: hand-held and portable (the cone had not yet taken hold).
An earlier predecessor, without the wafers, was a slice of vanilla ice cream cut from a larger slab by Italian street vendors in London. It was known as an “okey-pokey,” the English adaptation of the vendors’ Italian phrase, “o che poco,” meaning “oh, how little [money].” The name which gave way to the “Hokey Pokey” song.
The modern ice cream sandwich that we know, a slice of vanilla between two rectangular chocolate wafers, was invented in 1945 by Jerry Newberg, who sold ice cream sandwiches at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.
By the time we were kids, Nestlé’s ice cream sandwich was our favorite treat from the corner grocer’s ice cream case. (Our tastes have evolved to more premium goods.)
Who ever thought the ice cream sandwich of childhood would become this elite?
*Source: Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making by Jeri Quinzi.
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