Summer is a time for relaxation, fun and eating ice cream. The frozen dairy treat can be eaten from a cone or straight from the carton. But hands down the best way to savor a dish of cold, sweet ice cream is when it is served in combination with the makings of a classic banana split.
Making a classic banana split requires several top-of-the-line ingredients, starting with rich ice cream and not-too-ripe bananas. Before you begin assembling the dish, gather the following ingredients for your classic banana split: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream.
Do yourself a favor and set the ice cream out of the freezer a few minutes before you try to scoop it into the dish. Otherwise tired and strained muscles will interfere with your enjoyment of the finished product.
Besides ice cream and bananas, you will also need chocolate fudge sauce, strawberry sauce and pineapple sauce topped with swirly mounds of whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chopped nuts such as almonds, peanuts or pecans.
To create this classic dish, slice a banana lengthwise and remove the peel. Lay each half along the sides of banana boat or other long, narrow serving dish. Mound one scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream between the banana halves.
When the ice cream is centered between the banana halves, slather pineapple sauce over the vanilla ice cream; douse the chocolate ice cream with gooey, chocolate fudge sauce and finally smoother the strawberry ice cream with strawberry sauce. The entire dish is buried under mounds of whipped cream, then topped with three maraschino cherries, one per scoop, and sprinkled with chopped nuts.
It takes less than three minutes to prepare this classic dessert and several hours at the gym to work the extra calories off your waistline!
The banana split is believed to have been invented around the turn of the 20th century in a drugstore in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. According to ice cream lore, David Strickler came up with the classic dish while working as a soda jerk in the local drugstore in 1904.
This claim has been disputed by historians in the small Ohio town of Wilmington, who say the dish was the brain child of restaurateur Ernest Hazard who developed the dessert in 1907.
In the hundred years since the invention of the banana split, individuals have substituted various sauces for the traditional ones. Variations on the classic dish include sauces such as caramel, blueberry, raspberry, mixed berry and peanut butter. Most die-hard traditionalists dismiss these versions as folly. Only the traditional mix of ice creams and sauces can be called a true banana split, say ice cream experts.
Whether you agree the concoction was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania or came into being in Wilmington, Ohio, there is one thing everyone agrees on. Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a banana split swimming in sauce and buried in whipped cream.