Saturday, April 12, 2014

Prohibition-Era Sundaes Swing into Spring with Fresh Fruit

The Prohibition Era, 1920-1933, overlapped exciting cultural developments in the United States, and around the world, for that matter.  Women won the right to vote in federal elections, cars started to take over the streets and roadways from horse-drawn conveyances while families began traveling coast-to-coast in cars set up for camping, movies came into theaters and then became "talkies," radio advanced from neighborhood hobby broadcasts to national networks bringing news and entertainment into living rooms from big cities to the smallest hamlet.

Painters and sculptors began innovating and breaking rules, too, with abstract expressionism and cubism influencing even the soda shop treats.  According to the descriptions in the magazines written by, and for, soda shop and fountain operators, Ice Cream Sundaes could become an art form. The Cubist Delight featured raspberries and pineapple arranged to mimic art on top of a square of ice cream.

As summer arrived clever soda shop men found ways to serve fruit and ice cream combinations not in a boring, typical, glass, but on plates and small dishes making for delicious artistry.

Here are two authentic Sundaes from the pages of Soda Shop Salvation.

Cantaloupe Boat

1/4 fresh cantaloupe, cut as a wedge
1 small scoop vanilla ice cream
1 small scoop orange sherbet
2 tablespoons orange syrup
whipped cream for topping

Put the cantaloupe slice upright on a plate. Carefully place the scoops of ice cream and sherbet in the cantaloupe "boat," scooping out a bit of a hollow if necessary to get them to balance. Drizzle with orange syrup and top with whipped cream.

Just Right Sundae

1 medium scoop vanilla ice cream
1 peach, peeled and cut into slices
12 blackberries, approximately
3 tablespoons hot chocolate fudge sauce
whipped cream or marshmallow creme for topping

Put the ice cream in the center of a small plate. Gently press the peach slices into the side of the ice cream. Surround it with the blackberries, drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with a dab or creme.

Recipes from Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition
Copyright 2014 Rae Katherine Eighmey. All rights reserved