The Colorful History of the Egg Cream, A Chocolate Seltzer Drink That Contains Neither Eggs Nor Cream

Artisan candy maker Gregory Cohen, owner of Lofty Pursuits in Tallahassee, Florida traveled north to New York City in order to properly celebrate National Egg Cream day. The egg cream as it is currently known, was invented at the soda fountain across the street from the old Yiddish Theater at the corner of 7th Street and 2nd Ave. While the egg cream is neither made of egg nor cream, there are some interesting theories as to how the drink got its name.

Before I go on let me point out that the origin of the egg cream is in a lot of dispute. There were drinks in the day made with actual eggs and cream. Perhaps this is a cheaper version of it. It could come from the word ect because it means pure in Yiddish. But the story I like is that this Boris the actor came across the street looking for a drink called a chocolate et creme which is something he picked up in Paris and if you say that with a bad Brooklyn accent you’re asking for a chocolate egg cream

There are also some fascinating stories about criminal chocolate syrup racketeering.

His name was Harry s Dulwich and he was a lawyer who said that he could make these syrup companies a lot of money….saying he was going to divide up territories and put all the little people out of business. Some stores he got by threatening them other distributors destroyed by saying their products were unsafe… this my friends is called racketeering and it’s illegal.

Despite its colorful past, the egg cream has survived and Cohen very generously demonstrated how to make a batch of homemade chocolate syrup to keep his viewers safe from any budding racketeers. And of course, how to make a proper egg creme.

Egg Cream Day

Cohen also shared his favorite places to get a real egg cream.

Greg’s list of favorite Egg Creams in NYC
Hirshels in Brooklyn,
The Brooklyn Farmacy

The Lexinton Avenue Candy Store
Rays candy store on Avenue A off St. Marks (go after 10pm, ray works the night shift, if there is not an old Turkish guy in the window, the egg cream will not be right)
Eisnburgs on 5th ave and 23rd st (Since 1929, also makes a good ricky)
Yonah Schimmel Knishes (Houston street… Uses bottled seltzer well.
Katz’s deli, uses soda siphons.
Gem Spa, St Marks and 2nd ave.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.