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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

07.29.2002

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the full  scoop 
make a divine ice cream sundae

by Yee-Fan Sun
1 2 3

I'm not the sort of girl who feels much guilt for indulging my many food whims. Food, to me, is every bit as much about the pleasure of the eating experience as it is about obtaining necessary nutrients Ė and so when, from time to time, I get the craving for something wholly delicious and completely unhealthy, I tend to go all out Ö bring on the fat, the calories, the sugar overdose, because as long as Iím not subsisting solely on bad-for-you foods, I figure that what these treats lack in nutritional content for the body, they make up for in value for the soul.

So when it comes to ice cream in summertime, I donít even try to resist. A good, creamy, fresh homemade ice cream served straight up in a cone is, in itself, the perfect cure for a blazing hot sunny summer day, or a steamy summer evening. But itís a sad, inexplicable truth that here in this southwestern city that I now call home, where the temperatures feel summery for at least two-thirds of the year, I canít find a single charming little ice cream shop that sells truly fabulous fresh-made ice cream, of the sort that seems to pop up in every little town and on every other city street corner throughout New England, where I grew up.

So when the only ice cream I can get my hands on isnít all that spectacular in and of itself, itís the perfect excuse for making a sundae: pile on the homemade hot fudge, the real whipped cream, the sliced fresh bananas, and even the lowliest store-bought no-name-brand vanilla becomes mighty tasty indeed.

a brief history of the ice cream sundae
Although stories differ regarding the actual birthplace of the sundae, itís generally agreed that the ice cream sundae popped up on menus sometime in the late 19th century. Ice cream sodas had become such a popular dessert craze Ė especially amongst young boys and girls as part of the dating ritual Ė that many towns actually banned soda water from being served on Sundays. Of course, outlaw one pleasure and folks are sure to come up with an alternative to get around the silly rules: and hence, a new concoction was created especially for those holy Sundays. It contained most of the usual ice cream soda ingredientsó namely ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrupó but lacked the forbidden soda water itself. And lest its purveyors be deemed too blasphemous in naming this heavenly concoction after the holy day on which it was served, they substituted an e for a y, and called the new invention a "sundae." Yup, thereís a reason those sundaes taste so sinfully delicious.

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