Ice Cream Sundae
Author Michael Turback's Collection of Works on
America's Greatest Dessert
The Sundae Story
On Sunday afternoon, April 3,1892, after services at the Unitarian Church, Reverend John M. Scott paid his usual visit to the Platt & Colt Pharmacy in downtown Ithaca, NY. Shop proprietor, Chester C. Platt, was church treasurer and he met often with Scott for conversation after services. Seeking refreshment for himself and the reverend, Platt asked his fountain clerk, DeForest Christiance, for two bowls of ice cream. But instead of serving the reverend plain vanilla, Platt took the bowls and topped each with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. The finished dish looked delightful and tasted delicious—so much so that the men felt obliged to name the new creation. After some debate, Scott suggested that it be named for the day it was created. Platt concurred and the first "Cherry Sunday" was born.
The oldest written evidence comes from Ithaca for inventing the ice cream sundae. This "Cherry Sunday" ad from the Ithaca Daily Journal, April 5, 1892, remains the oldest-known record of the sundae's invention.
About the Author
Michael Turback lives in Ithaca, New York, the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. His very first book, A Month of Sundaes, became a runaway bestseller. A follow-up work, The Banana Split Book, was commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dish in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. His radio interviews include "Talk of the Nation" with Neal Conan and "Food Guy and Marcy" with Guy Fieri and Marcy Smothers. He has appeared on national TV, making sundaes with Jane Clayson on CBS This Morning, with Charles Grodin on 60 Minutes II, and with Steve Hartman on "Assignment America" during the CBS Evening News. Michael is a nationally-known culinary historian and cocktail culturalist. He is obsessed with the craft of the ice cream sundae.