There seems to be no end to the variations on the theme of Charlotte Russe. The beauty of today’s recipe find is that it comes from a pharmaceutical publication, which is strongly suggestive of its being a health food, which in turn is strongly encouraging of us consuming more of it. Isn’t it?
Soda Fountains were originally situated in dispensaries, and ‘formulae’ (I almost said ‘recipes’) for sodas and sundaes commonly appeared in publications for pharmacists. The Bulletin of Pharmacy (Detroit, 1912) included in the section called The Soda Fountain, several of the winning formulae from a competition it had just run.
The first prize (of $5) was awarded for a formula for Turkish-Italian Sundae, which sounds very nice (a mound of chocolate ice-cream to represent Italy, and one of peach to represent Turkey, with various additions and decorations), but several others were awarded ‘lesser prizes’, including our feature for the day - the Charlotte Russe Nutae. In this interpretation, it is the creamy filling for the sundae that is referred to as the ‘charlotte russe.’
Beware! this literally makes an industrial quantity!
Charlotte Russe Nutae.
Sweet cream, 20 per cent, 1 quart; powdered sugar, 6 ounces; extract of vanilla, 2 fluid drachms, ice cream powder, 2 teaspoonfuls; chopped nuts (very fine), 6 ounces. Mix by whipping the cream until almost stiff with the sugar, ice cream powder and extract; then add the chopped nuts until the mixture will stand. Having previously made ready one dozen ice-cream saucers, take 24 lady-fingers, slice them into halves and place four of the halves around on each saucer and fill the center with charlotte russe. Then take a small quantity of whipped cream, colored a light red or pink, and decorate the dish, topping off with a maraschino cherry. Sell this for 15 cents. It makes a nice profit.
I am unable to resist giving you another recipe from this Bulletin, on account of its delightful name. This recipe was not offered in the competition, but quoted from another publication called The Liquid Dispenser (which would be a great name for a bar, methinks.)
Mutt and Jeff.
Slice one banana and lay it flat on a split-banana sundae dish. Set one disher chocolate cream at one end, and the same amount of vanilla ice cream at the opposite end. Cut another banana in two unequal lengths, and place it upright in the cream. One fresh marshmallow is placed on top of each banana. Serve with a small slice of orange between the upright banans and decorate the ice cream with a few whole cherries.
If desired, a loaf of sugar saturated with brandy or alcohol can be placed on each marshmallow and then lighted when about to serve.
This novelty must not sell for less than 25 cents.
A little more on the phenomenon of soda fountains tomorrow, perhaps?
Quotation for the Day.
Always serve too much hot fudge sauce on hot fudge sundaes. It makes people overjoyed, and puts them in your debt.
I picked up the 1915 "Dispenser's Formulary" at the San Francisco foodie bookstore Omnivore, charmed by its vast collection of sundae recipes with advice on proper pricing (15 cents, maybe 25 cents for the really high-end ice-cream dishes with pineapple or some other pricy ingredient for concoctions like the "Admiral Peary" or the "Bunker Hill").
You tend to think the sort of people who patronized soda fountains in 1915 America to be relatively unsophisticated, yet there was a recipe for a "Cubist Sundae." I kept wondering if the help had some sort of Picasso or Braque reproduction on hand as a guide for them to follow in applying the syrups and fruit to the ice cream.
Love the Mutt and Jeff recipe! and the quote... my sister is a hot fudge addict and usually orders one scoop of vanilla and three scoops of hot fudge!... you've made our day... come visit when you can...
Hi Foose - lucky you to have a copy! I looked for it on Google and the Internet Archive, but it is not there (yet). What was in the Cubist Sundae?
"Cut into cubes equal parts of oranges, pineapple and bananas; mix with fresh strawberry syrup, and add one pint of chopped nuts to each two quarts of the mixture. ... Fill the mould with alternate layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, then empty out on a small hexagonal plate. Pour over the cream a ladleful of the 'cubist art' mixture, and top with whipped cream and a cube-shaped piece of orange and pineapple. This is a good seller at 20 cents."
Something I didn't notice before:
"The author writes that he uses 'cubist art' drawings to advertise this specialty." (One hears the distant, plaintive Vox Americana: "Vera, what the sam hill is that?")
And why the hexagonal plate?
Also in the collection, a sinister portent: "The Swastika."
"Slice 3 bananas, allowing the pieces to drop into a fruit bowl; add half a pint of crushed cherries, 2 ounces of shredded cocoanut and simple syrup ... Use one ladleful to each sundae."
Definitely a more innocent age.
Sounds fascinating, Foose. What a marvellous find that book was.
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