Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Egg Creams #FavorsomeTuesdays

An exhibit on Jewish Food all over the world at a local museum led me into today's memory.
Somewhere around the turn of the century (the 20th century, that is), a Jewish immigrant in Brooklyn created the first egg cream in his candy store.  It wasn't my grandfather, although he was one of many such immigrants who owned these Brooklyn candy stores.

Never mind the turn of the century.  Few people grew up in the New York City of the 50s or 60s (and beyond) without falling in love with this drink.  You didn't have to be Jewish or of any special nationality.  I think drinking this was pretty universal among New Yorkers.

There are three simple ingredients (none of which are eggs or cream) in a classic chocolate egg cream, yet, it takes certain conditions to make a perfect one.   These are the ingredients:

Ice cold whole milk  (it must be whole milk, or you won't get the head)
Seltzer, ideally commercial seltzer under pressure
Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup


Your milk must be icy cold.  You can use chocolate syrup other than Fox's, but it won't taste the same.  And, if you don't have soda fountain type seltzer, you can use the bottled stuff.  But again, it won't be the same.  You can order Fox's U-Bet syrup online, by the way.

Here is some information on the history of the egg cream.

Now, in my imagination, I walk into my local candy store in the Bronx, which was called Manny's.  On weekdays, Manny would sell my Dad the New York Daily News, already saved for him and rolled up, which my Dad would take on the subway and read on his way to work.  On weekends, my Dad might take me to Manny's for an egg cream.

In my imagination, I sit on the round, green, padded stool next to the stack of soft pretzels and ask Manny for an eggcream.

His recipe was something like this.

I know the drink must be consumed right after it is made, or the creamy head will disappear.  On a hot summer day (the door to Manny's is open - it wasn't air conditioned) it was so refreshing.  I sip the egg cream, served in a glass decorated with a Coca-Cola label.  The cream foam top tickles my lip, and I take in the cold, milky goodness and the chocolate heaven of Fox's U-Bet.

Manny's is long, long gone.  I haven't had a true New York City egg cream in possibly 20 years or more.

Join Bellybytes at Mumbai on a High and Shilpa Gupte at Metanoia for #FlavoursomeTuesdays.And, my apologies to Shilpa Gupte for mangling her last name. 

21 comments:

  1. Oh wow! Such a tall glass of that heavenly egg cream!!! With all that chocolate and the icy milk...mmm...I so love the combo, Alana! I have something similar at home, but without the seltzer. That's okay, though, coz I do get what I so love!
    Thank you for this cool post, Alana!
    Oh, and by the way, it's Shilpa Gupte. Shilpa Garg writes on 'A rose is a rose is a rose'. :)

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    1. I fixed your name - I'm so sorry. It is heavenly. One day, I'll have a true one again.

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  2. Oh Alana, thanks for the memory. I’m a suburban kid, so egg creams really weren’t a “thing” for me. But Fox’s U-Bet and seltzer — the real kind, from the bottle that sprayed — were a huge part of my childhood. My Grandfather was a seltzer delivery man, and later my Aunt worked in the distributor’s office

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    1. That's so cool, Songbird! I do remember the seltzer deliveries (we also had a commercial bakery that delivered, and a milkman, where I grew up in the Bronx, although my family couldn't afford those services)and that true bottled seltzer was so wonderful.

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  3. Foods are the best agents to refresh the memories. And when the food in question is creamy smooth yummy one, savoured with Dad...it sure makes for a happy dwelling in memory lane!
    On my way to try and make Egg cream to make smooth and fluffy memories!

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    1. I hope you were able to make a good one!

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  4. Thanks for sharing both the recipe and your beautifully painted picture of having an egg cream at Manny's!

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    1. Memories are interesting things - I was even able to remmber the smell of the store, and the display of model car kits (I have no idea why a sweet shop sold model car kits, but Manny's did) behind me as I sipped the egg cream at the counter.

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  5. I had never heard of the 'Egg Cream' until James Earl Jones visited Sesame Street oh, so many years ago. I've wanted to try one ever since. Thanks to you, I can!

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  6. I think the egg cream is totally NYC! You can make it at home, you can have it other places but really the whole taste is best in NYC! Maybe it is the air?

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  7. My policy was to put the Fox' in first. Then, the milk. Mix. Then Spritz. Repeat. (Because I finished it that quickly!)

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  8. I have never tried an egg cream. (I've heard of them, of course.) Sounds like a great memory.

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  9. This seems like a truly wonderful drink, I am tempted tp try it. I love experimenting with food. I have glue wine and racklette the delicacy in Switzerland while here

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  10. I would have loved to have seen that Jewish foods exhibit. I've heard of egg creams but never had one. I may just have to make myself one this coming summer.

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    1. I did take some other pictures of the display and some of the foods fascinated me, including one from India (Kolkata).Others were from my Ashkenazi heritage.

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  11. One day I must try an egg cream. I miss the old-fashioned malted milks at the neighborhood soda shop on the infamous 8 Mile Road in Detroit where I grew up.

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    1. We had malted milks, too, but we went to a different sweet shop (must be our NYC name for a soda shop) for them. There were several in walking distance of my home.

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  12. I don't think I've ever had one.

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    1. You can make them at home, although they aren't the same without the true pressurized seltzer.

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  13. So glad to have you share this delightful memory with us. Thank you for joining in and my apologies for being a late host... But why was it called Egg cream if there was no egg?

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    1. I think one theory is that "egg cream" is a corruption of a French name for a similar drink. Another theory I've read (which I am more inclined to believe) is that it is from the German word echt, for "genuine".

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