Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The ice-cream cone celebrates its 110th birthday
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Saturday 19 July 2014
* 110 years ago this week, Charles E Menches was sitting idly at the St Louis World's Fair when he saw some girls walking past who'd hollowed out small cakes and put ice-cream inside. It was a Eureka moment. A December 1931 obituary describes how he walked to a nearby confectionery stall and immediately invented the ice-cream cone. Way to go, Charlie.
* But hang on. At the same fair, Ernest Hamwi, a chap selling zalabia (a kind of Middle Eastern fritter) noticed that a nearby ice-cream vendor, Arnold Fornachou, had run out of plates. He quickly rolled up a zalabia, thereby inventing the ice-cream cone. As, apparently, did Abe Doumar... and Nick Kabbaz, both selling zalabia a few stalls away. None of these men ever came up with convincing proof of their invention. Indeed, David Avayou, also selling ice-cream cones at the fair, admitted that he'd seen them on sale in Paris and had just nicked the idea.
* A Parisian café called Frascati certainly sold ice-cream in cones throughout the 19th century, but there's no evidence that they were edible. So who invented the wafery cone? A New York resident, Italo Marchioni, had filed a patent for 'moulding apparatus' for an edible cone in 1903, and was reportedly furious at the outbreak of ice-cream-cone fever at the St Louis Fair. But a Mr Antonio Valvona had filed a similar UK patent ('Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups For Ice Cream') one year earlier. Hm.
* Mrs AB Marshall's Book of Cookery (1888) features a recipe for 'cornets with cream', while Charles Francatelli's Modern Cook (1846) clearly shows a garnish of small wafer cones containing pineapple ice-cream. Basically, no one knows who invented the ice-cream cone, but today is definitely not its 110th birthday. Sorry about that.
Life & Style blogs
WWE 2K15 gameplay trailer: First look at glorious next-gen graphics
iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
Autumn equinox: Google Doodle celebrates first day of autumn 2014
iOS 8: how to free up memory on your iPhone or iPad to install the update
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
iJobs Food & Drink
£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...