Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Birth Of The Ice Cream Cone

Photo: Blue Bunny® Ice Cream wwww.flickr.com. Find it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluebunnyicecream/3179408525/in/set-72157612280082067

Speaking of birthdays and birth days…Who REALLY “birthed” the ice cream cone?

There are so many stories surrounding the birth of the ice cream cone and, in my attempt to create a slow build of excitement to the Blue Bunny®/A&P® Birthday party with Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes”, Chef Duff Goldman, one week from today (let me hear ya say “Woo-hoo!”), I happened to realize that the actual DAY of our party to celebrate A&P’s 150th Anniversary is also the nationally celebrated birthday of the ice cream cone!

Most histories of ice cream will tell you that that the ice cream cone was invented in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, a fact that 1SweetMama, a native St. Louisan, is VERY proud to proclaim. Syrian immigrant, Ernest A. Hamwi gave some of his “zalabia” (a waffle-like pastry) from his pastry cart to neighboring vendor, Arnold Fornachou, who had run out of paper dishes to serve his ice cream in at his adjoining ice cream cart at the fair. Another version has Hamwi teaming up with a different ice cream vendor named Charles Menches, who also ran out of dishes. Who knows for sure….perhaps a little case of “cone envy”??

There are about a hundred other stories that sound much the same but involve different ice cream and waffle vendors….and there were, likely, a hundred ice cream and waffle vendors at the St. Louis Fair (or the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition). Whatever the story, whatever the claim…..whoever the vendor….. certainly, the one singular GIVEN is that the ice cream cone became universally popular after this date. Despite the number of claimants, most ice cream experts and associations DO give the credit to Hamwi. Way to go, Ernie!

But, for the sake of humoring me with the “September 22 in New York City” tie in - let us also consider Italo Marciony – who claimed he created the ice cream cone on September 22, 1896! He sold his cones from a pushcart in New York City, and his claim may be the best, since he had a patent for a waffle mold, granted in December, 1903, eight months before the St. Louis Fair!
So…. Seven days before my Blue Bunny colleagues and I trek off to New York City to celebrate cake and ice cream with Chef Duff and A&P, I must pay homage to the ones who gave us the foundation to do so. Cones and ice cream; cake and ice cream. No matter how you scoop it, I still find myself all giddy as a school girl. September 22 is growing ever-closer!

And, speaking of cake and ice cream…..tune in next FRIDAY as I tell you about how I learned about the male anatomy from birthday cake. You KNOW you will want to read that one!

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama

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