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Apr 29, 2013 02:04 AM

The NY Egg Cream, worth it to order the U-bet syrup?

I'm determined to try the famous NYC Egg Cream drink, and contemplating ordering the U-bet syrup online since I won't be in the city anytime soon. Is the Fox's U-bet worth ordering? Or will another syrup do?

Also any favorite recipes or ratios would be appreciated!

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  1. It's a matter of both tradition and taste.
    I ONLY use Fox's U-Bet. I stock up Passover time, when the product is made with cane sugar (corn syrup is not allowed for Passover)(I cleaned out my local supermarkets shelves after Passover when they marked it down to $1 per bottlle).

    My older brother and SIL, both born and raised in the Bronx prefer Bosco. They say it is closer to the taste they remember from the egg creams served at the neighborhood candy stores of their childhoods. I've tried the Bosco, and it is far superior to Hershey's but I think U-Bet is best.

    26 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      Thank you Bagelman! They have the kosher version on Amazon, I'll give that a shot :)

      1. re: SavoryTv

        Yes, as bagelman suggests, the U-Bet with cane sugar is really the best. I also grab a few when I see them.
        And do use whole milk--using 1% or skim just isn't the same. Also make sure to stir stir stir to get the nice frothy head!

        1. re: iluvcookies

          I just checked my 2 U-Bet bottles in the 'fridge and on one it says "sugar and/or corn syrup" and the other one, "Corn syrup (sugar during Passover)" The kosher KD is on the front label of each. The labeling sounds like it is pre-printed to fit the variations appropriate to Passover. I cannot remember when I bought these. I did not intentionally pick up any for Pesach. But next year, I will try to be more observant (no pun intended? Well...)

          1. re: iluvcookies

            Agree with all..I use my stick blender and get plenty of froth!

            1. re: njmarshall55

              Stick blender would not be my first choice for, really, the sublties of an Egg Cream. Plenty of (chocolate or tan) froth isn't the goal, but keeping that white foamy head as separate from the chocolate-laden seltzer in the rest of the drink. Kind of a snappy wrist action, using a long thin spoon seems to work real well.

              1. re: Florida Hound

                A blender will cause it to go flat. Terrible idea.

                1. re: Florida Hound

                  Yes you have to spritz the seltzer over the back of an iced tea spoon for the best results, it's a learned skill in the diner biz!

          2. re: bagelman01

            I am also from The Bronx and Fox's U-Bet is the syrup to use.
            I wish I had an egg cream now

            1. re: bagelman01

              I don't think there was a candy store in the 5 boroughs that didn't serve Fox's U-bet. That's why it is so iconic.

              1. re: Alfred G

                I think I am older than most of you so remember some things you don't know. I believe the U-Bet became iconic with the Loxfinger spoof of James Bond in the 60's. Israel Bond always had U-Bet.

                1. re: law_doc89

                  Unless you are over 100 years old, I think you may be mistaken. U Bet has been around since the late 1800s, and was always the syrup of choice. I used to sell it in the Metro area (among many other things)so I know a little of its history. I remember it being iconic from the time I started forming memories. Perhaps the 1960s is when YOU became aware of it?

                  1. re: coll

                    You misunderstand my post. U-Bet became the "standard" in the 60's. It was certainly around before that, but the Manhattan EC was usually made with Bosco, the EC itself originated on the lower east side before either syrup was even in business, and then different "traditions" emerged. The U-Bet dominance is a retrospective falsification.

                    As Voltaine said:

                    "History is a trick the living play on the dead."

                    Plus there is always the on-going rivalry between Brooklyn and "the city."

                        1. re: law_doc89

                          my father believed that Brooklyn WAS "the city."
                          as a matter of fact, he believed Brooklyn WAS AMERICA.

                          when we lived on the island, he felt like a stranger in a strange land. . . .

                  2. re: bagelman01

                    My brother-in-law, who grew up in Queens, insists on Hershey's syrup. As a Brooklyn girl, I KNOW Fox's U-Bet is the real deal.

                    The REAL challenge, though, is finding seltzer in a real seltzer bottle.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Did you know that real seltzer only comes from Germany?

                      1. re: law_doc89

                        I thought it could be made at home. No?

                        1. re: law_doc89

                          This is not accurate. Whereas Champagne is a legally protected name, the word seltzer is a genericized trademark, similar to other words that were formally trademarked, but eventually declared generic - like aspirin, zipper, and yo-yo. So, while a company can only use the name Champagne if its product is derived from a specific region, any company producing carbonated water can call it seltzer.

                          Real Champagne comes from the Champagne region.
                          Real seltzer can come from anywhere - yes, even one's own home.

                          1. re: Justpaula

                            Nope! Pass me a kleenex while I xerox this: While I never said it has any legal standing, real seltzer is a natural mineral produce from the town of Selters in Germany. What we know today was what the central European immigrants made to imitate it. Remember there was the beginnings of the massive wave of immigrants after the Civil War just as the phosphates were also invented and becoming popular, so they recreated the sodium based seltzer.

                            The egg cream is an outgrowth of that era predating the Fox company. An original myth, most certainly made up, is that a Yiddish actor invented the EC in the 1870's on the lower east side.

                            So there is real and imitation seltzer, with the real stuff having been forgotten.

                            1. re: law_doc89

                              who remembers the seltzer man and his wooden cases filled with czech. crystal bottles?
                              visions of etched clear, blue, red and green

                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                What is a hoot, is that there is a seltzer museum in Germany with examples of seltzer bottles going back to before the 30 years war. They look sort of like the Czech crystal bottles in pottery. I don't know when clowns started spraying people with it, however.

                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                  Had home delivery of Seltzer in New Haven through the mid 1980s from Castle Seltzer of Derby, CT. Now gone. I still have a 6 bottle case with 2 blue, 2 green and 2 clear bottles (all empty).

                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                    <<<CindyJ raises her hand>>>

                                    When I was a kid in brooklyn, the seltzer man came every week, delivering a case of those blue, green and clear bottles at the front door and taking away the empties.

                          2. re: bagelman01

                            I live in North Carolina, and one of the Harris Teeter stores in my area stocked it during Passover. Just the one store; I didn't see it anywhere else. After Passover, I bought all they had left.

                          3. U-Bet is the only chocolate syrup I buy, for egg creams, chocolate milk, ice cream, anything. It's so far superior to Hershey's and any other mainstream brands that you won't even believe it. Luckily, it's not difficult to find in Florida.

                            9 Replies
                              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                I'm glad Savory is asking the question and want to emphasize its U-Bet or nothin'.
                                If you need to order it long distance, fine, but don't fool yourself that you can get by with Hershey's or Bosco.
                                Next issue- do you have a real soda siphon? Gotta squirt the soda water into your recipe with a real-deal seltzer siphon, with CO2 cartridge and all.
                                Whew- its complicated but fun, down to what goes in first, and how much wrist action/ body-English kind of stirring as the recipe goes on.
                                Check out the Chowhound thread, "Brooklyn Egg Cream" and check out posts by Chowhounds like addictedtolunch, motl, and phantomdoc.

                                You wanted a recipe, so here's what we use:
                                Brooklyn Egg Cream:

                                1 cup ice cold whole milk (never 2% or


                                1/4 cup ice-cold seltzer

                                2 Tbsp Fox U-Bet Chocolate Flavored Syrup (do not substitute)

                                Chill a 12 oz glass for a couple of hours in the refridgerator. Preferably, use a glass that is narrow at the bottom, a little wider at the top. Pour the milk into the glass, The seltzer is best if you use a soda siphon bottle. Spritz in the seltzer until a white head reaches the rim of the glass. (A 1/2 inch head of white foam is the goal). Spoon in the syrup with a little wrist action, using a long, narrow-headed spoon, trying to leave the white foamy head undisturbed. Serve immediately with a long stick pretzel on the side.
                                Serves 1.

                                NOTES: Some purists say the pretzel is a Bronx thing.
                                The whole "foamy head" thing is a challenge re: keep it as white as possible. A tan foamy head is still tastey, but it means you just practice on your next one for more whiteness in that head.
                                Note to SavoryTv: "I AM DETERMINED..." is a good thing!

                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                  Growing up in Brooklyn, we ALWAYS bought a pretzel to have with our egg creams. With our malteds, too.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    see my earlier reply about Bachman's pretzel Rods 2 for a nickel, 3 cents each at the candy store..
                                    Egg Cream, 2 pretzel Rods and a comic book (12 cents) for about 50 cents.

                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                      I am relieved to hear that the big finish with the pretzel is just as much a part of Brooklyn tradition as "Bronx!" (OK, OK, likely the other boroughs, too! )
                                      Savorytv... please post re: your results when you finally make that Egg Cream! I'm sure you would make Louis Auster and Herman Fox proud.

                                      1. re: Florida Hound

                                        It is like Abner Doubleday and baseball. Everyone knows he invented it, except he didn't. The egg cream was a good 20 years before Auster.

                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                          Given his role in this, at any part of EC history, Louis Auster would still be proud of how Savory has stirred things up. And we're all waiting (maybe Louis included) to see how the Egg Cream at Savory's house turns out.

                                          1. re: Florida Hound

                                            A myth, nothing but a myth. Brooklyn is always in the shadow of Manhattan, and that is the real issue, isn't it?

                                2. You can't because you cannot get Bosco syrup easily anymore. Gotta get Bosco.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                    with Amazon, everything is easier. Here in South Central CT Bosco is stocked at some major supermarkets

                                  2. Here is the problem, egg creams are from Manhattan. Juniors created a myth that they are from Brooklyn. Most traditional candy stores are gone from Manhattan (think Sam's at 8th and W 21) so mythology reigns.

                                    1. I can't imagine using anything but U Bet. Doesn't matter what borough you are in.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: coll

                                        Wait a minute guys! I know the original story and Manhatten may well claim the "original." But as this thread grows (as it must- so much Egg Cream passion out there!), remember the O.P. called it "The N.Y. Egg Cream" so we can all be happy. It may be that the current "Brooklyn" moniker is so prevalent because U-Bet is based there. But I will tell you I've had a lot more Egg Creams in the Bronx and even Yonkers than "out" in Brooklyn. That's just me. I hope Savory tv experiments with recipes and... U-Bet, of course, and has a great experience.

                                        I really enjoy making an Egg Cream for someone who has never had one before. And I just thought of another challenge to all of this: you can't add childhood nostalgia or the old candy store or NY soda fountain memories to the basic recipe. The flavors may stand on their own, but to be honest, every Egg Cream "takes me back." Its part of the experience that Savory will not be able to order on Amazon.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Because you have never had the Manhattan egg cream.

                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                            I've had them in Manhattan but I grew up in the Bronx. I'm on Long Island now and still order them whenever I have breakfast out. Each one is a different work of art to me. The waitress who makes them is as important as the syrup, maybe more so.

                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                              I don't get egg creams. I'm not from NY but have lived there for a while now. Originally came for school. I had my first egg cream in Manhattan. Upper West Side to be precise. I remember the soda shop quite clearly though its long gone now. Ordered the egg cream, had a drink and thought to myself what's the big deal? Watery chocolate milk with some fizz. Tried it some more, but never impressed me. On the other hand, the orange egg cream at Eleven Madison Park, that is something special and I wish I could get that on a regular basis.