Egg Cream with Egg?
I have always thought that egg creams were NOT made with egg and just had three ingredients: chocolate syrup, seltzer, and milk. However, I heard from a long time New York City resident that initially, egg creams were made with egg and were responsible for the foamy head of an egg cream. What! Is this true? Is black white? Does the sun come up in the west? Can someone confirm this?
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and can tell you that there was NO egg in an egg cream. In the 40s during the war eggs were scarce.
After the war in late 40s and early 50s, sometimes an egg was added to a malted to give people more nutrition as eggs became more plentiful.
Will check out your links to make sure.
Meanwhile enjoy your eggcreams without the egg. *S*
I think that someone was pulling your leg! My father grew up in Brooklyn and loved a good egg cream. They are made with neither eggs nor cream! There seem to be two common explanations for the misnomer: egg cream sounded rich, making the product more saleable OR egg cream is an Americanized version of a Yiddish descriptor (which varies from explanation to explanation.
I still take my father to a deli in Philadelphia that still makes good egg creams whenever he comes to visit. If you've never had one, you should!
The food timeline is one of the most reliable food references on the web. It says there was never any egg or cream in an egg cream. There are credible sources backing this up.
One source that is interesting credits the invention to Louis Auster, who owned a candy store at Stanton and Avenue D.
The article states that "Auster's egg creams became famous...and were based on a secret formula that has never been revealed...The chocolate syrup used was made in the rear of the store, and windows were blacked out for privacy."
Auster's grandson is quoted saying "People thought there was cream in it, and they would like to think there was egg in it becuase egg meant something that was really good and expensive. There was never any egg, and there never was any cream."
While the recipe was passed on to the family, the last time the syrup was made was in 1974.
Arthur Schwartz, the Food Maven, author of NEW YORK FOOD, is the egg cream maven. His book has the details.
He appeared with Emeril, and made an authentic egg cream.
No eggs, no cream, just Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer.
I think some are perhaps being a little hard on Infinite Jest. IJ isn't asking if it is *currently* made with eggs or cream, but whether it was *originally* made with eggs or cream. It seems clear from the internet sites listed above and others' posts that the answer is (a) there is no evidence to suggest eggs or cream were ever included in an Egg Cream soda, and (b) the original recipe is a highly regarded secret, or not fully known, which invites speculation.
I think there is some debate over who the original inventor was.
The point I was really trying to make, though, is that a lot of people above are saying "there is no eggs or cream in an egg cream" when the OP's question was "was there *ever* any?". I agree, the answer is probably no.
Hailing from the Bronx, I've had thousands of them. My mother would take me to the candy store, ("around the corner") every day, from the time I was 3 till ... maybe 6yrs. old. We're talkin' 1948-1951. Never did I see an egg or any cream.
I think the name Egg Cream came about more as a discription of the qualitys of the drink than it's ingregredients, and those who never watched them being made could not resist making up stories.
If I get long winded about this... oh well...after all it is the old days.
Now, being the kid in the candy store, and an holy-terror I might add (I was always spinning around on the red leather, padded, crome ringed, ball-bearinged seat), I would lean way over the counter and watch old Harry Gillman, GRHS, make my egg cream.
He would pump u-bet syrup into a large Coke glass, then he would take the glass bottle of milk from the ice cream freezer (the colder the better) and with a knife break thru the icy milk. After putting in about twice as much milk as syrup, the level would be to where the glass flares out. Long handle spoon into the glass (so he didn't get his fingers into your drink) and he would pull back on the seltzer fountain tap while he jiggled the spoon up and down.
There was usually a very slight overflow down the side of the glass, and he would then let it rest for about 1/2 a minute so that the foam at the top would condense into the "creamy egg" .
If you've ever had a truely good egg cream, you'll know what I'm talking about.