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Did You Know Ice Cream Sundaes Were Invented in Upstate New York?

Fancy Fried Ice Cream Dessert
Bob Ingelhart/ThinkStock

We’re not talking about the ice cream, or just the toppings, but the idea to combine the two is believed to have started in Upstate New York.

Whether you want to top your ice cream with chopped peanuts, whipped cream, hot fudge, or any combination of those ingredients, there’s no wrong way to create an ice cream sundae. But who first decided their ice cream needed a little more?

Well, back in 1892 a minister was credited for coming up with the idea. According to New York Upstate,

[He] stopped at a local pharmacy after Sunday services. Looking for a refreshment [he] asked for vanilla ice cream with cherry syrup and a candied cherry…

It’s believed the minister and the owner decided to come up with a name for it and Voila! The ice cream sundae was born. And the really cool part? All this happened at a pharmacy in Ithaca.

We all know about Utica Greens, chicken riggies, half moon cookies, and mushroom stew being Central New York and Upstate New York foods, but technically, we can add the ice cream sundae to that list. Actually, there are a lot of great food inventions that came from Upstate New York, and some that are eaten all over the country (and the world). “New York Upstate” has compiled a list of 15 of them, which you can see here.

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