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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eat Dessert First!

I drove past Purity ice cream not too long ago and their sign read, "Eat dessert first, life is short." I couldn't agree with them more. Many folks, including myself, plan ahead and have half of their dinner boxed to take home in order to save room for dessert. Planning ahead a little is wise, especially here at Rogues' Harbor where the portions are generous and the desserts are made right here.
One of the hall marks of Finger Lakes cooking is fresh, local, gardeny ingredients like herbs, greens, berries, apples... We love it all and a couple of our country inn desserts feature wild berries, apples and local ice cream. Our wild berry cobbler is a big summer seller. It has strawberries, black berries & blueberries with a shortbread biscuit. In the fall, our apple crisp takes over as the most popular dessert. It has a touch of maple and a brown sugar crumbled topping. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream melting over the top is too wonderful to resist. Our richer desserts are crowd pleasers too, chocolate peanut butter pie and triple chocolate cheesecake. They're perfect to share.
Every good dessert menu, especially in the Ithaca area, should offer a sundae.  Of course, Rogues' does. Ithaca is the birth place & home of the old fashioned favorite ice cream Sundae. It's true. We make ours in an edible waffle bowl with hot fudge or caramel, whipped cream & a cherry. We call it the Ithaca Sundae...
There are several cities claiming to have invented the sundae, but Ithaca actually has written documentation from 1892 discovered by Ithaca High School students, Meredith Buchberg and Laura Willemsen. They spent 6 months working as Corson Fellow interns at The History Center in Tompkins County in 2007, researching online data bases and physical archives to discover the "Sundae Truth." They researched and uncovered the below information to back up Ithaca's claim as "The Birthplace of the Sundae."
Michael Turback, Ithaca resident, restaurant guru & gifted writer, published a book, "A Month of Sundaes, Ithaca's Gift to the World." Sundaes truly are a gift to the world & there are few desserts that could not be improved by adding a big scoop of ice cream. We even serve a Blond Bombshell which is a pint of our own Cayuga Cream Ale with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
So, Live it up, life is short- Eat Dessert First.