How The Ice Cream Sundae Got Its Name

Multi-scoop waffle cone sundae
Multi-scoop waffle cone sundae - Grandriver/Getty Images

It seems like ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top work so well together that they must have all been invented at the same time. Unfortunately for those who missed out on such an iconic mashup, this was not always the case. Variations on ice cream date back to the second century -- and even back then, people were looking to add an extra something like honey or nectar on top of their frozen treats. Chocolate sauce didn't appear on the scene until the 19th century, originally intended as a sweetener for medicines, not ice cream.

It wasn't until the late 1800s that the ice cream sundae was born, winning the hearts and taste buds of ice cream lovers everywhere. But how exactly did the ice cream sundae get its name? Like many inventions that quickly become beloved classics, several sources claim to have dreamt up the ice cream sundae, all with different reasons for coining its name. While it could have something to do with the "Sunday" on our calendars, others argue that the name derives from one of the supposed inventors, himself.

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The Sweet Treat May Actually Be Named After A Day Of The Week

Ice cream sundae
Ice cream sundae - Moncherie/Getty Images

There are three main debated origin stories for the ice cream sundae's iconic name. In Wisconsin, a pharmacist Edward Berners served this treat exclusively on Sundays in an attempt to be lawful. Interestingly, the treat was so popular on Sundays in the 1890s that religious groups attempted to stop ice cream sundae sales "because of its popularity and its competition with the Christian sabbath," per US Foods.

In New York around the same time, Chester C. Platt created the same ice cream and syrupy dessert, this time with cherries. He served it to a minister who claimed it should be named after the day of its invention: Sunday. They changed the spelling of the word so it wouldn't drum up suspicion of being connected to the traditional day of rest.

Illinois locals also claim that one of their own is responsible for naming the ice cream sundae: Charles Sonntag. He was a pharmacist known for selling the sweet treat which he named after himself, a "Sonntag." Translation of the name from German to English means, "Sunday," again aligning with the day of the week. Luckily, we no longer have to wait until Sunday to enjoy the delicious dessert. Whether you enjoy a big, over-the-top ice cream sundae or a simple scoop of vanilla with a drizzle of sauce on top, all variations of the classic treat are considered an ice cream sundae... right?

Are All Scoops Of Ice Cream Technically Sundaes?

Ice cream sundae
Ice cream sundae - Moncherie/Getty Images

The general definition of an ice cream sundae includes it being covered in syrup and sometimes additional toppings. This provides loose, yet not completely thorough parameters for all the possibilities. For one, it needs to be an actual ice cream base. A serving of frozen yogurt would not technically be a sundae as it isn't made with ice cream, even if you top it with all the same garnishes.

Those who don't like traditional vanilla or chocolate ice cream, however, can still enjoy a base of strawberry or mint and call it a sundae. And the definition for toppings is much more vast than you might imagine. Foods you never thought to put on ice cream like olive oil, crushed-up potato chips, and even caviar still count as sundae toppings, as long as you enjoy them over a scoop of ice cream. The whipped cream and cherry can be added or removed based on preference, although many won't consider the ice cream concoction a true sundae until they see that swirl of cream with a cherry on top.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.