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More Than a Month of Sundaes Paperback – May 1, 2006
A Guide to Collecting Cookbooks
Humble cookbooks have become highly desirable in the book collecting world. Learn more on AbeBooks.com.
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Reading Michael Turback’s “More than a Month of Sundaes” is like eating an ice cream sundae: each taste is smooth, luxurious, melting on the tongue to yield a panoply of sweet flavors. Normally I’m not much of a history buff, and much of this book is filled with historical details and stories regarding the background of ice cream and the phenomenon of the ice cream sundae. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however. The tales are fascinating and filled with personality and color. The details (such as how much George Washington spent on ice cream in one summer!) can be wild and eye-opening, giving us a whole different window into the past as an alternative to dry history books.
I particularly enjoyed learning about how the various well-known ice cream companies got their start. At this point most of them feel like large, faceless companies, so it was fascinating to picture these men decades ago making ice creams and selling them out of their kitchens. I also enjoyed learning where various trends (such as the use of mix-ins) got their start, and how many of the famous sundae-shops around the country contributed to the fame of the ice cream sundae. (In one case I even got to say, “hey, I’ve been there before!”)
But lest you think this is entirely a history of the ice cream sundae and all things related to it, it definitely includes recipes. It provides a few basic ice cream recipes, a handful of toppings, and many sundae-building instructions from establishments near and far.
Unfortunately this part of the book, while good, doesn’t fare quite as well as the story-telling (not a division I expected to find myself making!). The toppings are wonderful. The sundae instructions are definitely good, although there’s a lot of near-duplication, I think–there tends to be some limit on how many different things you can do with a few ice cream flavors and toppings, unsurprisingly. The weak point, oddly, turned out to be the ice creams.
The ice creams in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book were much better. The ones in this book, while good, were of inconsistent quality. The quick chocolate ice cream didn’t taste particularly chocolatey and froze so hard in the freezer that it’s basically impossible to serve, for example. I definitely enjoyed the vanilla bean and the strawberry ice creams, but they just aren’t as good as I’m accustomed to from that other book.
All in all I highly recommend this book to any afficionado of ice cream or sundaes. It presents a lush history in vivid detail as well as many worthwhile suggestions to get you started exploring sundaes in your own home. And if that isn’t enough, it directs you to many of America’s top sundae places, so you can go experience them for yourself! If you like to make your own ice creams, however, I do recommend picking up Bruce Weinstein’s The Ultimate Ice Cream Book as well.
Author Michael Turback is televisions Sundae King who is also a prizewinning restauranteur from Upstate New York. He has compiled a wealth of information pertaining to all things ice cream.
Also included with this handy reference book are over 85 award-winning and delicious ice cream concoctions. From the origins of the banana split, Peach Melba and the Good Humoured Man are but a few of the facts shared within these pages.
There are many interesting tidbits concerning who invented ice cream, how the sundae got its name, the role of ice cream during the Prohibition and many other anecdotes that are sure to tease and tantalize. This book is chock full of interesting and conversation starting topics that will leave you yearning to whip yourself up a sundae and enjoy the pages within this book.
There are many photos shared throughout the pages. Pictures of the original ice cream parlours, dining rooms of the rich and famous, paintings from history showing the love of ice cream, old advertisements and many more! The pictures are in black and white creating an ye olde fashioned atmosphere.
Also included are over 500 of the best sundae parlours served in the USA in over 50 states and the sundae that they are famous for, with the addresses of the establishments for easy location.
I thought this was a delightful book to read! It had many neat facts that I have had the pleasure of sharing with my friends and family, like how the ice cream scoop was invented or how they used to cut ice out of frozen lakes and rivers to concoct the first samples of ice cream that graced the palates of Americans.
I thought all the recipes were a neat touch and each one looks extremely delicious. I didn't realize there were so many ice cream sundaes and treats and many of them shared have a history as to how and why they were created.
I would think this would make an excellent bathroom reader, it's an easy read and you can close it up and walk away from it, not having to worry where you left off. I also love the conversation building aspect that the book incurs. With all them facts and tidbits it would be a hard aspect not to share.