(photo via Jay’s REAL NYC Egg Cream)
I’ve mentioned drinking an "egg cream" to several people here in Los Angeles, I usually get back blank stares, even from those whose opinion I trust.
Here is an excellent description of an egg cream:
This is a phenomenal beverage, and if you have never had a New York Egg Cream then you are truly in for a treat. Let’s start off by explaining what an Egg Cream is (and what it isn’t). First, it was a soda produced almost exclusively in the soda fountains of New York (particularly Brooklyn). Second, there are no eggs in an egg cream. Third, many Egg Creams don’t even contain cream. It does however contain chocolate, seltzer, and either milk, cream, or both. When made correctly, the taste is absolutely wonderful, and completely different than any soda on the market today.
The best way to describe the taste of an Egg Cream is to remember back to when you had an ice cream soda. If you can remember sipping on the straw, once the ice cream had a chance to melt, the wonderful taste of flavors produced by the blending of melted ice cream, chocolate syrup, and seltzer water, would best describe how an Egg Cream taste. There are other chocolate soda beverages on the market, but they all taste like chocolate milk made with water. These do not even come close to the complex and wonderfully delightful taste of an Egg Cream.
According to an article published in Esquire Magazine in the 1970’s, the Egg Cream was invented in 1890 by Louis Auster, a Jewish candy shop owner in Brooklyn, New York. The beverage was extremely popular, and the candy shop (eventually five candy shops) would be standing room only. Lines would form down the street and around the corner, and according to the article, this started a tradition of drinking the egg cream while standing — never sitting.
It’s difficult to find a good egg cream anymore, because you can’t really find "real" seltzer bottles. The only place I know in Los Angeles with a real soda fountain is the Fair Oaks Pharmacy in south Pasadena.
Here’s a recipe. (via The World on a Plate)