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August 25 – Enjoy National Banana Split Day!

4 min read

Originally written on August 25, 2021. Updated 2023

Probably this is one of the best parts of summer or, at least, any time of year where you like to indulge in an ice cream treat.
Give your taste buds the thrill of delicious ice cream and luscious chocolate covering a fresh banana topped off with nuts, a cherry and whipped cream!
Banana Split Day is exactly what you expect to be: a day to celebrate this amazing dessert, and It gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy it.
After all, who doesn’t love a delicious banana split?
On this day you can enjoy one of these desserts (or several) and you don’t need to feel guilty about it!

The popularity of the banana split is often credited to Walgreens drug stores, which are operated by Charles Rudolph Walgreens. The store promoted the banana split as their premium dessert but did you know that the original banana split wasn’t created in an ice cream parlor or in a regular grocery shop?
Surprisingly the Banana Split Day has a very definite history, and we can pinpoint its origins to one David Evans Stickler. It was 1904 when he was serving as an apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Like most pharmacies of the day, it had a soda fountain attached, and it was in there that he invented the banana split, which quickly became a hit with the students at Saint Vincent College nearby. They were so popular with the college crowd that students willingly paid 10 cents, double the price of a normal sundae. Word of mouth made it spread like wildfire, and it soon became an American institution, before going global.

In 2004 Latrobe hosted the 100th anniversary of the invention, the same year that it was certified as the birthplace of the banana split by NICRA (National Ice Cream Retailers Association).
It also became the home of the Great American Banana Split Celebration, a huge event with food and events for everyone to take part in.
Of course, like with all great inventions, there is some contention about its origins. For example Wilmington, Ohio claims that it was invented there in 1907 in response to a slump in the ice cream business thanks to the winter season!

If in this dessert bananas may be covered in cream and a few other “bad things”, bananas themselves offer a number of different health benefits. This can make you feel better about eating a banana split!
Bananas, for example, are an excellent source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, in turn, provides a number of great benefits. This helps us to maintain a healthy nervous system, remove unwanted chemicals from your kidneys and liver, metabolize amino acids, metabolize fats and carbohydrates, turning them into energy, but also produce red blood cells.
But the good news does not end there, as there are a number of other benefits that are associated with bananas.
This includes potassium, which meets around 10 percent of your potassium intake. It also contains manganese, which helps to protect your skin through the creation of collagen, as well as protecting other cells from free radical damage. Bananas are also a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports brain health through the production of serotonin, which impacts our moods, sleep cycle, and experiences of pain and stress. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, absorb iron better, and protect your body against tissue and cell damage.

And, above all, how to celebrate Banana Split Day?
Well…grab yourself an entire bushel of bananas, split them in a bowl, and fill them with ice cream! Then top with whipped cream, nuts, strawberry syrup, and anything else you can imagine, and not forget to sprinkle liberally with maraschino cherries.
A bit much? Alright, if you’re going to keep this deliciousness to yourself, you can also drizzle it with high proof alcohol and ignite it.
Use this day also to up your banana split with creative ways to cook the bananas. For example, fry them up and dust them with cinnamon and sugar, caramelize, freeze them and dip them in chocolate.

Did you know that there was a World Record set in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, for the longest banana split? This stretched 4.5 miles (about 7,2 km!), and it consisted of 33,000 bananas, as well as 150 gallons of chocolate and 2,500 gallons of ice cream….

Images from web – Google Research

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