More of a Good Thing How Sundaes Expand the Ice Cream Experience

Ice cream containers

Ice cream is still the favorite American dessert, and a good proportion of the nation?s dairy production of milk goes into the making of this sweet frozen treat. While vanilla is still the favorite flavor, desserts like sundaes that use ice cream add a mind-boggling variety of syrups, toppings, fruit and nuts to create delicious concoctions. With their distinctive glasses and spoons, ice cream sundaes have acquired a lasting place in popular culture. And of course, in the taste buds of millions of fans.

The most popular dessert
Ice cream is the most popular dessert in the U.S. On average, Americans eat ice cream 28.5 times a year, or nearly every week. For parties, picnics and celebrations of every kind, ice cream is an essential fixture. And you don?t really need a party or any company at all to eat ice cream. Solitary binges on butter pecan in front of the tv are the stuff of fond memories for a large number of people.
Luckily, American dairy farmers are up to the challenge of providing the vast quantities of milk needed to keep up with the demand for ice cream. Almost 9% of all the milk produced in the U.S. is used for making ice cream. Ice cream production maxes out in June, but continues year-round.

Ice cream sundaes and more
Other popular types of sweet frozen desserts are gelato and frozen yogurt. But neither is likely to topple ice cream from its perch on top of the list of favorite desserts. The favorite ice cream flavor is still vanilla. According to a survey by the International Ice Cream Association, member companies reported that 28% of their consumers prefer vanilla to other flavors.
Based on the idea that more of a good thing is even better, the ice cream sundae defines the American passion for ice cream. A sundae is made of ice cream, covered with sauce or syrup, and topped off with peanuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, cherries, or fruit like banana and pineapples. At least five cities in three states – Wisconsin, Illinois and New York – claim to be the birthplace of the sundae.

Some classic sundae recipes
Classic sundaes are served in their distinctive tulip-shaped glasses, with extra-long spoons to reach all the way to the bottom of the delicious concoction. Sundaes get their names from the syrup used to flavor the vanilla ice cream in the classic sundae, such as cherry, chocolate, strawberry, and raspberry. The maraschino cherry on top of the sundae is the finishing touch.
Then there are the famous variations. The banana split is a time-tested combination of a halved banana, with strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, chocolate and strawberry syrup, and topped with crushed pineapple, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. The Knickerbocker Glory has layers of ice cream, jelly, and cream, with a topping of whipped cream, syrup, nuts and a cherry.

Ice cream sundaes, with their classic ingredients, glasses and spoons, have become an inextricable part of popular culture. Andy Warhol painted them, with an American flag planted on top, to indicate that it is your patriotic duty to eat sundaes. We couldn?t agree more.

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