Midwest Time-Warp Trips
Soda fountains: A rite of passage
Soda fountains have a language all their own. Egg cream (seltzer water, chocolate syrup, milk). Black Cow (root beer, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream). Green River (lime syrup, soda water). These are universals. But there are also semantic debates. Banana split (pineapple and strawberries, or butterscotch and chocolate?). Tin Roof Sundae (salted peanuts or toffee?).
As with any language, it's easier to learn with a native. Maybe that's why being taken to the soda fountain is a rite of passage. Maybe you recall twirling on a stool next to your mom and nursing a double-dip mint-chip. Or sinking spoons into mounds of marshmallow with your grandpa. Or sharing a malt with a boy from school.
Or perhaps the trip you remember best was the day the tables turned, when you brought your baby to the soda fountain and watched her spin on a stool and take her first lick from a mint-chip cone.
Click to the next slide for four top picks of Midwest soda fountains.