The Great New York Egg Cream

January 25th, 2012 § 0 comments

HG just learned (though it has been widely reported) that New York’s Eleven Madison Park, the renowned four star restaurant, is serving an “egg cream” at the conclusion of dinner (just before dessert). The restaurant’s “egg cream” is composed of vanilla-malt syrup, organic milk, olive oil, sea salt and seltzer.

This concoction would receive a shocked “Gevalt!!!!” from my late mom. Like HG, she was a classicist and abhorred “creative” food aberrations. There is only one way, HG’s way, to make a proper New York egg cream (Younger readers: An egg cream contains neither egg nor cream). HG learned egg cream construction as a soda jerk at Bonder’s Candy Store in The Bronx in the 1940’s. The Bronx had many demanding egg cream experts and it was acknowledged in the Kingsbridge neighborhood that the Bonder/HG egg cream had scaled the heights and rested upon the pinnacle. Here’s how HG did it: Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass. Then milk. Here’s the vital part. The milk had to be semi frozen or mixed with finely crushed ice. The milk and syrup would occupy half the glass. The seltzer was sprayed slowly against the interior of the glass. Then a quick burst at the end. A stir with a long soda spoon. The result: A glorious chocolate drink with a dense, creamy head of foam. Many a housewife interrupted her shopping for an HG egg cream accompanied by a crisp, salty pretzel. The egg cream was one of the four popular fountain beverages HG dispensed: The 2-cents plain (a simple, unadorned glass of seltzer); the five cent chocolate soda (chocolate syrup and seltzer); the ten cent egg cream; the 25-cent chocolate malted (made with two scoops of ice cream, milk and malt powder). Simple treats for a simpler time.

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