My Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the term “ice cream cone” to 1909, but I’m sure I’ve heard the confection itself first appeared at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. Or maybe I just remember that scene from Meet Me in St. Louis, one of my favorite movies of all time, or images like this commemorative stamp, below.
Wikipedia dates the concept of the cone back way back to an 1888 cookbook that included “Cornet with Cream,” a similar concept to the familiar cone.
(Did you know there’s also an “ice cream chair,” armless with a circular seat, for use in ice cream parlors? It’s a wonder what turns up when scanning the dictionary. )
Anyway, back to the cone. The specifics vary. It can be conical in shape, or more bucket-like with a flat bottom (sometimes called a cup or a cake cone). It can be sweetened (sugar cone) or unsweetened. The waffle-like or cake-like texture pairs well with the rich cream and helps soak it up as it melts. In any case, the point of the cone is that it allows ice cream to be eaten on the go, without dishes or utensils. You still have to be quick about it, though, to avoid your fingers getting coated in melting ice cream.
My personal favorite is mint-chocolate chip ice cream in a sugar cone. What’s your favorite kind of cone, and your favorite flavor of ice cream to put in it?