My two-year-old is not good at ice cream cones. He eats slowly, from one side only, so that the ice cream starts dribbling down the other side of his hand. He bites the bottom of the cone off well before the ice cream on top is actually inaccessible, providing another source of dessert leakage. He frequently loses ice cream to various family members rushing over to help stabilize the sticky mess before it all ends up on the ground. Even with these various indignities, the idea of eating his ice cream from a cup remains unthinkable to the boy. Because ice cream cones are awesome. And today might be their birthday, depending on who you ask.
In 1904, ice cream cones had a big, public debut at the Saint Louis World’s Fair. While European cook books had references to eating ice cream from rolled waffles or baked cornets, what is now thought of at the classic design made from pastry cone was served up by Charles Menches, with no less than two scoops of ice cream. From that time on, ice cream cones had secured their place in our culture, but the issue of who actually invented them was not completely settled.
Many claims to the cone
At least six other names have been associated with cone innovation. Italo Marchiony actually received a patent a year before the World’s Fair debut. But that patent specified an edible cup instead of a cone which proved to be a critical detail for both mind-share and the patent courts, which ruled against Marchiony when he tried to take on some other up-and-comers.
Abe Doumar was another early titan of the cone industry. After successfully selling rolled waffle cones, he designed a custom waffle iron to make four cones at a time. He brought his brothers into the business, eventually using a 36-iron machine that could crank out 20 ice cream cones per minute.
Out of all the variations of baked, rolled waffled or cupped ice cream, the edible cone clearly reigns supreme at this point. A paper cone or metal cup just aren’t fair alternatives after the delight of a crunchy waffle. That said, I think I might make the family try ice cream in pita bread at some point, even if my son makes a mess of it.
Source: Ice cream cone, Wikipedia