It’s National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!

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Break Out Your Spoons!

Every year on the 25th day of July, children and adults alike have the perfect excuse to indulge in a decadent frozen dessert, for on this day National Hot Fudge Sundae Day is celebrated all across the U.S.  So break out the spoons and start heating up some fudge, for there is some sundae eating to be done!

History of National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Ice cream has been enjoyed in America since its founding days. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington indulged in this cool dessert and offered it to guests. Colonists were in fact the ones to term the dish “ice cream,” and the very first ice cream parlor in the country opened its doors in 1776 in New York.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure, however, it is generally accepted that the spelling “sundae” derives from the word Sunday.

Among the many stories about the invention of the sundae, a frequent theme is that the dish arose in defiance to so-called blue laws against Sunday consumption of either ice cream or ice cream sodas.  The religious laws are said to have led druggists to produce a substitute for these popular treats for consumption on Sunday. According to this theory of the name’s origin, the spelling was changed to sundae to avoid offending religious conventions.

Other origin stories for the sundae focus on the novelty or inventiveness of the treat or the name of the originator, and make no mention of legal pressures.

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day Celebration

Celebrations for National Hot Fudge Sundae Day are likely to take place at ice cream parlors and restaurants that serve this dish. You may find local specials and versions created just for this occasion. You can celebrate at home by throwing a hot fudge sundae party, or by simply making one for yourself.  Here is a terrific hot fudge sauce recipe to get you started!

Hot Fudge Sauce

Gourmet, February 2004

This thick, glossy sauce makes chocolate syrup taste ho-hum. It’s wonderful poured over any flavor of ice cream to create a luscious hot fudge sundae.

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate to a boil in a 1 to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and cook  at a low boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Cool sauce to warm before serving.

Makes about 2 cups.  Sauce can be made 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then chilled in an airtight container or jar. Reheat before using.

photo courtesy of Bill Poff,

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4 Responses to “It’s National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!”

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