August 6, 2012

National Root Beer Float Day

“....the egg creams of Avenue A in New York and the root beer float....are among the high points of American gastronomic inventiveness.” - Mark Kurlansky 

It's National Root Beer Float Day!

The root beer float - like many food and beverages - has a foggy origin. But it’s generally to credited to Frank J. Wisner of Colorado. Food legend goes that in the late 19th century he had a total revelation: he realized the snow-covered Cow Mountain looked like ice cream in soda. The next morning he put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass of root beer, and - voila! – the “black cow” was created and history was made.

(And Steely Dan had something to write about.)

And now you're all the wiser, foodies.

There was a 1950's style drive-in diner near my house when I was a little kid. We went there often throughout the summer because the prices were cheap, it was easy entertainment (when you're a kid, the idea of going to a restaurant just to sit in your car and eat while girl's in poodle skirts passed you food through your window was just wild... absolutely wild!), and they made some of the best root beer in the whole state. It came in oversized frosty mugs, and was delicious, refreshing, and made us feel super cool when we were drinking it. As a result, I'm feeling quite fondly about today's ideally-timed food holiday. Besides - who doesn't love a good root beer float in the heat of summer?

Happy National Root Beer Float Day!