Hokey pokey (ice cream)

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Hokey pokey
Honeycomb ice cream and hot toffee sauce (5725734559).jpg
Honeycomb ice cream with toffee and sauce
TypeIce cream
Place of originNew Zealand
Region or stateNew Zealand
Main ingredientsVanilla ice cream, honeycomb toffee

Hokey pokey is a flavour of ice cream in New Zealand, consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee. Hokey pokey is the New Zealand term for honeycomb toffee.[1][2][3][4] The original recipe until around 1980 consisted of solid toffee, but in a marketing change Tip-Top decided to use small balls of honeycomb toffee instead.

It is the most popular flavour after plain vanilla in New Zealand,[5] and a standard example of Kiwiana.[6] It is also exported to Japan and the Pacific.[7]


"Hokey pokey" was a slang term for ice cream in general in the 19th and early 20th centuries in several areas — including New York City[8] and parts of Great Britain — specifically for the ice cream sold by street vendors, or "hokey-pokey" men. The vendors, said to be mostly of Italian descent, supposedly used a sales pitch or song involving the phrase "hokey pokey", for which several origins have been suggested, although no certain etymology is known. One such song in use in 1930s Liverpool, UK was "Hokey Pokey penny a lump, that's the stuff to make ye jump" [9]
The name may come from the term "hocus-pocus", or it may be a corruption of one of several Italian phrases. According to "The Encyclopedia of Food" (published 1923, New York) hokey pokey (in the U.S.) is "a term applied to mixed colors and flavors of ice cream in cake form". The Encyclopedia says the term originated from the Italian phrase oh che poco - "oh how little". Alternative possible derivations include other similar-sounding Italian phrases: for example ecco un poco - "here is a (little) piece".

Related uses[edit]


  1. ^ "Hokey Pokey", Recipe, Evening Post, 1927
  2. ^ Chelsea Sugar - Hokey Pokey, Chelsea.co.nz, retrieved 2010-10-28
  3. ^ "Hokey Pokey - New Zealand Kids Recipe at KiwiWise". Kiwiwise.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  4. ^ "Popular Kiwi recipes – pavlova, anzac biscuits, roast lamb, pikelets etc". Kiwianatown.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  5. ^ "The New Zealand ice cream industry". Nzicecream.org.nz. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  6. ^ "Kiwiana". Christchurch City Libraries. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  7. ^ Masters, Catherine (27 December 2001). "It's a love affair in a cone". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. ^ http://www.littlebookroom.com/historicshopsNY.html Archived 2006-04-12 at the Wayback Machine Littlebookroom.com
  9. ^ "eye" witness account: Margaret Grace Jones b.1924