I’m from Canton, Ohio–the meat-and-potatoes middle of the place. A city most renowned for currently being house to the Professional Football Hall of Fame and heaps of cream soup–based casseroles. It’s the form of Midwestern position the place the foodstuff is plentiful and uncomplicated, often forgettable and often elegant. The Canton-born Bittner, a 90-yr-outdated ice product sundae, falls into the latter class and remains just one of the greatest desserts I have ever eaten, beating out my new favorites like Milk Bar’s cereal milk ice product and my aged standbys like Nestle Drumsticks.
The Bittner is a sundae created by Taggart’s Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe, an previous-fashioned ice product parlor that opened its doorways in 1926. Taggart’s seems practically the exact nearly 100 decades later—blue and white tile floors, sticky wood booths, and a marble bar—and it’s still serving the exact same variety of food stuff it was serving for the duration of the roaring 20s: overflowing sloppy joes, thick malts, tuna melts on white bread, and tangy phosphates from the soda fountain. The whole spot is a excursion back again in time, but the thing folks get most nostalgic for is the Bittner, a frozen delight that is sort of like a sundae, kind of like a milkshake, and a minor little bit like a Wendy’s Frosty®.
A complete three-quarter pound of do-it-yourself really hard ice cream is sent in a tall, obvious glass. Most spots evaluate their ice product in scoops, but in Canton, you get it in lbs. A when ago, the house owners acquired glasses sized to fit exactly 3-quarter kilos of packed ice product. Scoopers weigh it out by filling the glass to the brim, no scales necessary. That hunk of ice cream is blended with “two generous pumps” of chocolate syrup right up until it truly is just combined. The outcome is thick, creamy ice cream, like a milkshake with no the milk, and appropriate on the verge of melting. It will come topped with super salty roasted pecan halves from Ga and a crown of whipped cream. A extended silver spoon trapped in the aspect of the glass ensures that every single bite capabilities silky ice product, a jumble of crunchy pecans, and whipped cream.
The check to see if it was thick ample? Bunny stood on a chair and dropped a prolonged silver soda spoon into the glass. If the spoon landed upright smack in the center of the ice product, the texture was just appropriate.
Like any fantastic hometown-well known food, the Bittner has a substantially-debated origin story. I’ve read diverse variants on it my entire existence, most just lately by Jimmy, a nephew of Ernie Schott, the dude who’s owned Taggart’s for the past 30 many years. He statements that two boys with the very last name Bittner preferred to play baseball all over the corner from the store and would come in later on asking for an more-thick milkshake. Formally, I’ll go with the tale that has experienced a spot on Taggart’s brochures considering the fact that its 80th birthday.
Legend has it that in the 1930s, the operator of Bittner’s Grocery Retail outlet, a local market, sponsored a very little league workforce that had a sweet tooth. Immediately after the games, the Bittner’s supply truck driver, Bunny Artman, would chauffeur the players house, halting initial at Taggart’s for a frozen handle with the team. At Bunny’s ask for, the Taggart’s fountain person would make him an ultra-thick milkshake protected in pecans. The take a look at to see if it was thick plenty of? Bunny stood on a chair and dropped a very long silver soda spoon into the glass. If the spoon landed upright smack in the center of the ice product, the texture was just appropriate.
And as a result, the Bittner was born, and quickly begun showing on the menu. Although Bunny and his team are lengthy gone, the Taggart’s crew has refined and perfected the Bittner, giving it a put of honor at the incredibly leading of the menu.
Even though it is normally been a portion of my lifetime, I did not generally purchase the Bittner. When I was young I needed one thing sweeter, richer, like a warm fudge sundae with two scoops of ice cream protected in sprinkles. But as I bought older, I comprehended the magic of salty, buttery roasted pecans and the just-commencing-to-soften ice cream. Now I crave Bittners even a lot more than I did when I lived down the highway from Taggart’s.
The only matter that retains me from remaining desperately homesick for it is that you can recreate a Bittner (or at minimum a model of it) at household: Roast 1 cup of pecan halves with 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons of wonderful sea salt in the oven. When roasted, mix 4 scoops (about 8oz) of your beloved vanilla ice product with 2 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and serve it in your tallest glass. A spray of canned whipped cream or a dollop of homemade, and you are set.
Whenever I try to recreate a Bittner in my faraway Texas kitchen area, I really feel nostalgic for my spouse and children. After all, I’m not the 1st member of the Rice loved ones to take pleasure in a Bittner. With each individual chunk of salt-flecked ice cream, I feel of my grandma heading to Taggart’s just after soccer game titles when she was in higher school. She was a majorette in the marching band–so I picture her sporting her white tasseled boots and a gold-and-blue skirt. I consider of her and my grandpa having his prized crimson Corvette out for an early date before they married in 1964, halting for a cheeseburger and a Bittner at Taggart’s.
Canton has changed—the downtown scene is considerably less bustling than it once was, and hardly any person underneath 65 is out at Taggart’s for day night—but the Bittner continues to be accurate. The very last time I was house viewing relatives in the center of the summer season, we stopped by. The waitress came by with a pad of paper, and the seven of us purchased Bittners devoid of hesitation.
Contacting all Buckeyes: have you experimented with the Bittner sundae from Taggart’s? Permit us know in the reviews beneath!