ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Today is National Banana Split Day. What does that mean to you? Well, we think it means banana splits for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why did we become adults if it wasn’t to celebrate this way?
Surprisingly, the original banana split wasn’t created in an ice cream parlor but in a pharmacy in 1904. Banana splits were the brainchild of David Evans Strickler, a pharmacist’s apprentice who enjoyed experimenting with new soda fountain sundaes in his free time. They were so popular with the college crowd that students willingly paid 10 cents, double the price of a normal sundae in those days.
However, the banana split is not without it’s controversy. In 1907, Ernest R. Hazard claimed to have invented the banana split. He owned a restaurant in Wilmington, Ohio, and he hoped that a new ice cream treat would attract students from Wilmington College. According to legend, Hazard sponsored a competition to invent the new treat. Hazard’s design featured a banana that was split in half, three scoops of ice cream, with chocolate sauce, pineapple, strawberry topping, nuts, and whipped cream placed on top. Hazard also added two red cherries to crown his dessert. Hazard won the competition, and business increased at the restaurant. To honor Hazard’s invention, Wilmington hosts the Banana Split Festival every June. Despite Wilmington’s claim that Hazard invented the banana split, it appears that David Strickler actually invented the dessert in 1904.
And, what goes into a banana split? Traditionally, the banana split had sliced a banana in two, one scoop of strawberry, one scoop of vanilla and and one scoop of chocolate ice cream and included three kinds of flavored toppings topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.
Our suggestion: have a banana split today. Make your own or buy one; but celebrate these small things, enjoy the day and let the day be a sweet one.