Where do ice cream cones come from? Perhaps this isn't the most perplexing question on anybody's mind these days, but it's a surprisingly controversial one. Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the invention of the sweet treat, author and illustrator Elaine Greenstein explores the intriguing origins of the cone in an effort to get to the bottom of a century-old mystery. Six men and one woman all claimed to have invented the ice cream cone, but only one thing is certain: children were enjoying the tasty treats at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. There's even a picture to prove it! So who thought of the cold creation first? Some say it was Arnold Fornachou, an ice cream vendor at the World's Fair. Others say it was Ernest Hamwi, a waffle vendor in the stand next to him. Some claim Abe Doumar, a souvenir vendor, dreamed up the cones. Others are sure it was David Avayou, who said he got the idea from "all those fancy paper cones he saw used in Paris." And another candidate, Charles Menches, claims he got the idea from a lady friend when she handed him flowers. But who is the true inventor? Greenstein thinks she knows.
From the stalls of the St. Louis World's Fair, to the gardens of Paris, to the streets of New York City, the author follows many leads, capturing along the way the energy of life in the early 20th century through her candy-colored artwork.
Greenstein's detailed research and delightful prose make this colorful book a tantalizing page-turner. And since there doesn't seem to be any hard evidence on how the true inventor came up with his (or her) idea Greenstein helps us imagine how it could have come about.
Regardless of who invented this summertime favorite (or what kind of cone one enjoys the most: wafer or waffle), Greenstein has gotten to the bottom of one very important truth: It's a bad idea to bite the bottom of the cone when there's ice cream in it! Heidi Henneman writes from San Francisco.