Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day

Believe it or not, ice cream sodas were once considered a sinful indulgence, and not just because of the calories. Today (June 30) on National Ice Cream Soda Day, we celebrate this soda fountain favorite that was initially believed to be on par with alcohol.

According to gastronomic legend, the ice cream soda was invented by Robert M. Green at the Franklin Institute’s sesquicentennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1874. Green was a vendor at this event and found himself competing for customers against a larger, better-equipped soda fountain. He decided to create a new soda offering to give his business an edge.

After a fair amount of experimenting with the ingredients at hand, Green hit on a winning combination: soda water, vanilla ice cream and flavored syrup. With 16 different flavors of syrup to choose from, Green’s concoction quickly became a sensation. It wasn’t long before other soda fountains were offering “ice cream soda.”

Ice cream sodas were especially popular with teenagers and children, which caused concern for many adults. At the time, soda was being touted as a medicine or health tonic rather than as a refreshing beverage. Coca-Cola, for example, had its start in the 1880s as a patent medicine. Parents were less than pleased that ice cream was being added to medicine and doled out to their children.

Soda was therefore considered a substance on par with alcohol in that its consumption needed to be regulated. In some locales, soda, like alcohol, could not be sold on Sundays. The ice cream soda ban is said to have led to the creation of the ice cream sundae, so named because it didn’t contain soda and could be sold on Sundays.

We suggest celebrating National Ice Cream Soda Day with (what else?) an ice cream soda. Even though soda is no longer a controlled substance, we still encourage you to celebrate responsibly. There’s nothing like an ice cream headache to take all the fun out of the holiday.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published June 30, 2010.

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