Although others have claimed they are the home of the banana split, evidence shows that Latrobe is the top banana! For years the debate raged on, until historians came to the conclusion that the City of Latrobe was where the Banana Split was invented!
As frozen confections go, the Banana Split is one of most delicious treats to enjoy. The conglomeration of nuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, maraschino cherries, syrups, ice cream and bananas in a “boat” is very popular with all ages. Since its inception - the banana split has been a dynamic dessert, with its flavors inspiring all sorts of edibles. If you look hard enough, you can find yourself banana split cocktails, cakes, pies, breads, puddings, yogurts, taffy, cookies, ice cream, popcorn – even banana split beer, tea or coffee!
Invented by David Evans Strickler David was a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy, at 805 Ligonier Street in Latrobe, PA. He enjoyed experimenting with sundaes at the store’s soda fountain and one day in 1904 he came up with the banana-based triple scoop ice cream sundae. The sundae originally cost 10 cents, twice the price of other sundaes, and caught on with students of nearby Saint Vincent College. News of a new variety of sundae quickly spread by word-of-mouth and through correspondence and soon progressed far beyond Latrobe.
Toppings & More! One published recipe called for a lengthwise split banana, two ice cream cones and a spoon of whipped cream in between with maraschino cherry on a top, with one end covered with chopped nuts and fruits.
In addition that year, Ernest Hazard of Wilmington, DE wanted to attract students from Wilmington College, so he staged an employee contest to come up with a new ice cream dish. When none of his workers were up to the task, he split a banana lengthwise, threw it into an elongated dish and created his own dessert. Each June Wilmington holds its own Banana Split Festival.
National Ice Cream Recognition! The National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) gave Latrobe’s mayor a certificate honoring the city as the banana split’s birthplace and Strickler - its father.