Celebrate National Ice Cream Sundae Day with a simple, classic ice cream sundae at Fair Oaks Pharmacy in Pasadena, CA
The sundae is an ice cream dessert. The classic hot fudge sundae is often a creation of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce (hence the "hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single bright-red maraschino cherry on top. A hot fudge sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream; though, as a chocolate sauce is generally favored, non-chocolate ice cream flavors are preferred.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure. Various American localities have claimed to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. These claimants include Ithaca, New York; Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Plainfield, Illinois; Evanston, Illinois; New York City; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cleveland, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. In recent years, officials in Two Rivers and Ithaca have used the controversy to gain publicity for their cities.
Of the many stories about the invention of the sundae, one frequent theme is the sinfulness of the ice cream soda and the need to produce a substitute for the popular treat for consumption on Sunday. In Peter Bird's book The First Food Empire, it is stated as fact that the name 'sundae' for ice cream with toppings was adopted from Illinois state's early prohibition of ice cream consumption on Sundays, but ice cream with a topping that obscured the main product was not deemed to be ice cream.
Pasadena, CA, may be best known for the Rose Bowl, but the Fair Oaks Pharmacy has been around much longer. Back in 1915, Fair Oaks Pharmacy used to be just a pharmacy with a gift shop. Today, it is home to an old-fashioned soda fountain. In addition to its ice cream sodas, Fair Oaks Pharmacy is famous for its simple classic ice cream sundaes, lime rickeys, egg creams, ice cream sodas, All-American banana splits and milkshakes. So, if you'd like a taste of yesteryear, head to Fair Oaks Pharmacy. The Travel Channel included the Fair Oaks Pharmacy as one of the shops in its special on Ice Cream Paradises.
In one case, the original recipe had to be adjusted. The egg cream had to be adjusted because it was made with real eggs but since you are no longer able to serve raw eggs this had to be cut out. Now it's just milk, soda water and chocolate syrup.
There is a vintage soda fountain and a nostalgic look. In the 1940s, 75% of all pharmacies in the country had a soda fountain but, sadly, today these drugstore delights are nearly extinct.