the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

25
August

National Banana Split Day

Posted by Brittany

National Banana Split DayDavid Evans Strickler is credited with the 1904 invention of the banana split. The apprentice pharmacist crafted his concoction at the soda fountain of the Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which was dubbed the birthplace of the banana split by the National Ice Cream Retailers Assocaition (NICRA) one hundred years later. Strickler’s original dessert looked a lot like today’s traditional banana split; it consisted of a banana a cut lengthwise and laid in a “boat” dish, then topped with three scoops of ice cream — one each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. A pineapple topping was added on top of the vanilla ice cream, while chocolate syrup was poured over the chocolate, and strawberry topping on the strawberry ice cream. FInally, the dish was garnished with nuts, whipped cream, and cherries. Stricker’s banana split quickly became a hit with local students and it wasn’t long before word of the tasty treat had spread. Walgreens further helped to popularize the dessert by offering the banana split as their signature dessert, and as a tasty way to pass the time while customers waited for their prescriptions.

I love bananas — in my mind they’ve really earned their reputation as “the world’s most perfect fruit.” As someone who can’t eat apples, pears, and other acidic fruits, I’ve always appreciated bananas for being gentle on the stomach and a great way to get a natural sugar fix. They’re always wonderful, whether firm or ripe, or even bruised if you like to make banana bread! And aside from being a good “grab and go” snack, bananas make a great addition to just about any bowl of cereal, mound of pancakes, or dish of ice cream.

Before this evening, it had been so long since I’d had a banana split, I could barely remember what one tasted like. But knowing how much I like bananas, I spent most of today fantasizing about my impending dessert. On my way home from work I stopped at our local Bruster’s and ordered a banana split sundae — a treat made with all of the same ingredients and proportions of a traditional banana split, but with the bananas sliced, and packaged in a round to-go container in order to accomodate the storefront’s drive-thru business. I forgot that the line at Bruster’s is always excruciatingly slow (almost fifteen minutes to serve three cars!), but when I finally got the precious cargo home, where Chris was waiting patiently, we chowed down on our shared sundae. I thought it was perfectly delicious, but found myself missing the fun, nostalgic look of the “boat” dish (as well as the nuts that I’d ordered, which I’m guessing wound up on someone else’s ice cream).

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