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Unpeeling the Origins of the Banana Split

August 25 celebrates one of the most delightful and iconic desserts to have ever graced our taste buds—the banana split. As we scoop into this indulgent ice cream treat with enthusiasm, it's only fitting to take a journey back in time and explore the delectable origins of the banana split. From its birth in a humble pharmacy to its position as a cherished dessert enjoyed by generations, let's celebrate the history that has led us to relish this delightful creation.

Banana split on hot pink background.

The banana split's inception can be traced back to the early 20th century at a drug store in the charming town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. In the year 1904, a young pharmacist named David Strickler had a revolutionary idea to create a sundae that went beyond the traditional ice cream offerings of the time. Working at the Tassel Pharmacy, Strickler took inspiration from the popular soda fountain treats and set out to craft something truly special. Bananas had recently become widely available in the U.S., and he wanted to capitalize on the banana's novelty by using it in an indulgent dessert.


Experimenting with different ingredients, Strickler assembled three scoops of ice cream – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry – between the split halves of a ripe banana. To top it off, he generously drizzled chocolate sauce over the ice cream, added whipped cream, chopped nuts, and crowned it with a maraschino cherry. The result was a masterpiece of flavors and textures that not only delighted the taste buds but also marked a new era in dessert innovation. Priced at 10 cents a pop, it cost nearly double other desserts at the time.


The banana split's popularity quickly spread beyond the small town of Latrobe. As word of this delectable creation reached other corners of the country, diners and ice cream parlors began incorporating the banana split into their menus. With its eye-catching presentation and a harmonious blend of flavors, the banana split became a symbol of indulgence and joy, perfect for celebrations and moments of sweet escape.

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