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Egg cream

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Egg cream
TypeFountain beverage
Country of origin United States
FlavorVarious; primarily chocolate, but can be any flavored syrup
IngredientsFlavored syrup, milk, soda water

An egg cream[1] is a cold beverage consisting of milk, carbonated water, and flavored syrup (typically chocolate or vanilla), as a substitute for an ice cream float.[2] Ideally, the glass is left with 23 liquid and 13 foamy head.[3] Despite the name, the drink contains neither eggs nor cream.[4]

The egg cream is almost exclusively a fountain drink. Although there have been several attempts to bottle it, none have been wholly successful, as its refreshing taste and characteristic head require mixing of the ingredients just before drinking.

Etymology theories and speculations[edit]

The ingredients of an egg cream: Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup,[5] seltzer, and whole milk

The peculiarity that an egg cream contains neither eggs nor cream has been explained in various ways. Stanley Auster, who claims that his grandfather invented the beverage, has said that the origins of the name are "lost in time."[6]

The egg cream originated among Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City, so one explanation claims that egg is a corruption of the Yiddish echt 'genuine or real', making an egg cream a "good cream".[7]

Food historian Andrew Smith writes: "During the 1880s, a popular specialty was made with chocolate syrup, cream, and raw eggs mixed into soda water. In poorer neighborhoods, a less expensive version of this treat was created, called the Egg Cream (made without the eggs or cream)."[8]

Another explanation comes from reports that it grew out of a request for chocolat et crème from someone, possibly the actor Boris Thomashefsky[9] who had experienced a similar drink in Paris.[10][11] His heavy accent altered the name into something like "egg cream," which then developed into the current term.

In Popular culture[edit]

  • "Egg Cream", song by Lou Reed (Set The Twilight Realing album, 1996)
  • Mentioned in the novel Marathon Man by William Goldman, 1974
  • Discussed in "The West Wing" TV series (s2, e3 "The Midterms")

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The New York Egg Cream". ArcGIS StoryMaps. 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2023. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  2. ^ Stuart, Marcia. "The New York Egg Cream". EGO. Epicurus.com. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  3. ^ Stern, Michael; Stern, Jane (Jul 10, 1985). "Egg Cream is a delicacy at candy store in Bronx". The Evening Independent. p. 3B. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  4. ^ Arenstein, Noah (2014-11-19). "12 things you didn't know about NYC egg creams". Thrillist. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  5. ^ Mead, Rebecca (8 August 2011). "Proustian". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  6. ^ Mariani, John F. (1999). Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. Lebhar-Friedman:New York.
  7. ^ Ringler, Rachel (16 June 2021). "What is an egg cream and why is it so Jewish?". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  8. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2014). New York City: A Food Biography. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 111.
  9. ^ Gould, Jillian (2002). "Candy Stores and Egg Creams". Jews of Brooklyn. UPNE. p. 203.
  10. ^ Stradley, Linda (17 April 2015). "New York Egg Cream Recipe and History". What's Cooking America. Archived from the original on 20 March 2022. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  11. ^ Lee, Jennifer (5 August 2008). "Can the Egg Cream Make a Comeback?". City Room. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 28 January 2022. Retrieved 12 March 2022.

External links[edit]