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Tomatoes and Ice Cream Sundaes

The Food Timeline
Ever wonder how the ancient Romans fed their armies? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip…and why? So do we!!! Food history presents a fascinating buffet of popular lore and contradictory facts. Some experts say it’s impossible to express this topic in exact timeline format. They are correct. Most foods are not invented; they evolve. We make food history fun.

Do check out the history of that misunderstood fruit, the tomato.  While enjoying a nice BLT sandwich. And then, for dessert…

From the Food History timeline, a highlight from the 1890’s, which is the era that The Flight To Brassbright is set in. Who doesn’t love an Ice Cream Sundae?

Ice Cream Sundaes
Who invented the ice cream sundae & why? Excellent question with several answers. Food historians generally agree on the origin & creative spelling of the name. Why is it served with cherries on top?

“As for the specfic birthplace of the dish, two possibilities emerge as the most likely among many contenders. Neither place can offer conclusive dates, so one can pick between, “Heavenston” (favored by the National Dairy Council, among others) and Two Rivers (championed by such divers sources as the old Ice Cream Review and H.L. Mencken in his American Language). The first claim goes back to the 1890s in Evanston, Illinois (then widely known as “Chicago’s Heaven” or “Heavenston”), where civic piety had reached such a state that it became the first American community to recognize and legislate against the “Sunday Soda Menace.” This prompted confectioners to create Sundays so that they could do business on the Sabbath. Ironically the soda was later given a strong boost from this community when the Evanston-based Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) championed it as a pleasant alternative to alcoholic drinks. The Two Rivers, Wisconsin, claim goes back to the same era…was created when a youth named George Hallauer went to Ed Berner’s soda fountain for a rich of ice cream. As the ice cream was being scooped, the daring Hallauer spied a bottle of chocolate syrup normally used in sodas and asked Berner to pour some of it over his ice cream. Berner sampled the concoction and liked it enough to begin featuring “ice cream with syrup” in his shop for the same price as a dish of ice cream. The name sundae was give to the dish when George Giffy, an ice cream parlor proprietor in nearby Manitowoc, was forced by customer demand to serve the popular Berner concoction. Giffy was convinced that the nickel dish would put him out of business and at first served it only as a Sunday loss leader. In Manitowoc it soon became known as “the Sunday.” Giffy found that he was making money on the dish and began advertising his “Ice Cream Sundaes,” with the spelling changed so that it would lose its Sunday-only association. Regardless of the origin, by 1900, midwestern soda-fountain supply salesmen were carrying samples of tulip-shaped “Sundae Specials.”