The Classic Egg Cream

My granddaughter Lila tried an egg cream for the first time and declared it a winner! Good genes? Smart kid?

Whatever, there’s now another generation to appreciate the finer things of life.

Does everyone know about egg creams? No. Not these days, when you can only find this fabulous drink in a select few places. But when I was growing up egg creams were the pride of New York, especially in the outer boroughs. You could get one in a candy store on almost every block. Who would choose a coke when you could have one of these rich, chocolatey, fizzy sodas with a thick head of cappuccino-like foam on top?

Seems to me that when baseball’s New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers left New York and folks started leaving the city for the suburbs, it signaled the end of the egg cream heyday.

But at least we had them, back in the day. Outside New York if you asked for an egg cream they didn’t know what you were talking about. I went to college in Evanston, Illinois and the first time I went to the local diner I asked for one. The waitress said “huh?” The guy behind the counter said “huh?” They did have a beverage called a chocolate phosphate, essentially chocolate syrup and club soda. I asked them to make a chocolate phosphate for me but please add 1/2 cup milk. From that time on they referred to me as the student who wanted the weird chocolate phosphate.

They did try, but it wasn’t the real thing anyway. An authentic egg cream has to be made with seltzer from a real seltzer bottle and with Fox’s U-Bet, not just any old brand.

I’m not sure if Lila’s egg cream was made with Fox’s U-Bet, and besides, the formula has changed. It’s no longer the old Fox’s U-Bet.

But at least she knows about egg creams and likes them, which I do find lovely.

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