Today, Sept. 22, is observed as the birth date of cold, creamy, smooth, crunchy, crispy, delicious, dairy royalty.
It was on this date in 1903, you see, that Italo Marchiony of New York filed his patent for ice-cream cups. Edible ice-cream holders eventually would become known far and wide as ice-cream cones, held in high cream esteem, as they still are to this day.
I grew up just 23 miles east of St. Louis and was always of the persuasion that the ice-cream cone was invented at the 1904 World's Fair in old St. Louie. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Woe is me. All this time, I thought I was from cone country, the birthplace of the ice-cream cone.
Hang on a minute. Let's look at this another way. St. Louis is, after all, home of the best ice-cream cone of all time – the waffle cone! Yep, it was at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904, when ice-cream vendor Arnold Fornachou ran out paper serving dishes. Syrian immigrant Ernest Hamwi came to his aid, rolling up some of his waffle-like pastries, which served well as yummy ice-cream vessels.
Now I learn that the waffle-cone story might be inaccurate. No hard evidence exists to credit the storyline of that 1904 legend, according to the Missouri Historical Society, although Hamwi did end up founding the Cornucopia Waffle Company, which became the Missouri Cone Company. So, there you go, folks; St. Louis has played a role of sorts, at least, in ice-cream cone history.
History, smistory. The important thing is the mere existence of ice-cream cones – then, now and hopefully forever. The smooth creaminess and the sweet crunchiness and the exhilarating coldness all combine to create the most luscious, spectacular treat in the world of treats, desserts and goodies. Not even brain freeze can detract from the joy of devouring an ice-cream cone.
In the world of ice-cream cones, you basically have your hard-cream cones and your soft-cream cones and your chocolate-dip cones. I'm a soft-cream man. I'm talking about custard or soft-serve ice cream, preferably in a waffle cone or sugar cone.
My father loved the old-fashion, custard-style, soft ice cream in a cone. When I was a boy, we stopped at little ice-cream shops along little highways all over Illinois and Missouri, sampling the local, handmade, soft-serve ice creams in different kinds of cones. Some of my best boyhood memories are about me and Dad motorcycling on hot, summer, Sunday afternoons, stopping at ice-cream shops we hadn't tried before.
I wonder how many shirts I've ruined with chocolate spots after letting the chocolate ice cream atop my cone drip before I could lick the drip and slurp it between my lips, as any experienced cone connoisseur should be able to do adeptly and easily. The out-of-control dripping usually happens under a bright sun on a broiling hot day. I know that's no excuse, so maybe I'm just a bit of a slob. But with an ice-cream cone, I'm a gloriously happy slob.
Be happy. Be sloppy if you want. It's the anniversary of the ice-cream cone. I'll take two scoops, thank you.