The Delicious History of the Hot Fudge Sundae

Retro Staff |  Comments


The date of July 25th is a delectable one indeed. It is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, a day dedicated to one of the most indulgent desserts ever. Taking a generous helping of sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream and topping it with an even sweeter hot fudge sauce creates a mixture of warm and cold yumminess that’s a perfect treat to enjoy any time of year. It’s especially wonderful on a hot summer day.



Although no one knows who first put toppings on ice cream, it’s a pretty safe bet that people have been indulging in all sorts of delights on ice cream since the frozen treat first existed. Thomas Jefferson, for one, was known to put maple syrup on his ice cream. The real ice cream sundae magic happened in 1892 when Chester Platt, the druggist at the Platt & Colt drugstore in Ithaca, New York served up two dishes of vanilla ice cream. One was for himself and the other was for his good friend, the Reverend John Scott of the local parish where Platt was treasurer. The two men met often at the pharmacy on Sundays after church services. But on April 3, Platt added a candied cherry on top, followed by cherry syrup. Platt and Scott were so taken with the look and taste of this concoction that they decided to name it the Cherry Sunday, after the day they discovered it. Platt soon offered it as a menu item known as the “sundae” and it quickly caught on. This was most definitely not the first cherry sundae to be made, the significance of the event was in the naming of the treat.




Since that momentous day, a wide variety of toppings has been routinely added to ice cream: strawberries, caramel sauce, marshmallow, pineapple and butterscotch among many others. Of course, most sundae aficionados would consider a sundae unfinished without the cherry, whipped cream and perhaps, nuts. Hot fudge sauce as a topping for ice cream was ‘invented’ in 1906 at the C.C. Brown’s ice cream parlor in Los Angeles, California, or so they claim. The ice cream parlor owner, Clarence Clifton Brown began serving ice cream accompanied by little pitchers of warmed chocolate sauce. (Oh my, that sounds good!) Hot fudge as a topping for ice cream has pulled ahead of the pack and proven to be the most popular of all. Hence, a whole day dedicated to this wonderful dessert!



It’s important to note that any day can be hot fudge sundae day and you don’t need a national holiday to enjoy your own delicious sundae. Check out the fun ice cream dishes at Retro Planet that look just like the ones from ice cream parlors of days gone by and create your own celebration of the wonderful hot fudge sundae!


Last updated: Jul 25, 2017
Filed under: Retro Memories Tagged with: hot fudge, ice cream parlor, sundaes