Ready to turn back time with the coke float?
There has never been a shortage of wacky combinations in the food industry. It is, after all, a place where creativity flourishes. Some work, others don’t, and a few are absolutely outrageous. Once in a while, a pairing comes along that captivates the audience and becomes an indispensable part of our food habits. The coke float is that dish. Or is it a drink? Or is it in a category of its own?
But that debate is not what this blog is about. We are here to trace the origins of this fast-food mainstay. One common notion is that it was brought to life at McDonald’s, probably because the burger giant brought it into the limelight.
But the story goes a little differently. It isn’t Ronald McDonald’s (the popular McD mascot) house but Robert Mckay Green who invented it. The USP of his shop was flavoured cream soda – quite simply, a combination of soda and cream in a glass. Legend has it that one day, he ran out of cream, and in a true example of necessity giving rise to invention, ice cream came to his rescue. And thus, in Philadelphia was born the ice cream float.
It soon became a sensation, and McDonald’s hopped on to the popularity express to come up with the coke float. Whoever did popularise it, Mr. Green’s will specified that his tombstone would say, ‘Originator of the Ice Cream Soda.’
Coke’s fizz and ice cream’s melting sweetness brought the coke float global recognition, with an outpouring of affection towards the drink. It also got some eccentric names because of how it looked. The Aussie and Kiwi crowds called it ‘spider’ because of the spider web-like reaction between carbonated liquid and ice cream.
Puerto Ricans called it ‘black out’ while other South American countries like Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, referred to it as Vaca Negra (Black Cow). There have been variations to the coke float as well. Coke is substituted with root beer, syrups, and soda water too. But none of these variations have attained the status of the coke float.
Summer is upon us, and you might just be thinking about ordering a coke float. You can always turn to the Swiggy app to get your thirst quenched or your hunger satiated. The coke float does work both ways, doesn’t it?