A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 28, 2019
Rum Raisin

"Rum Raisin” is a flavor most often used in ice cream; the raisins are soaked in rum. It’s not known who invented “rum raisin,” but it was listed in several ice cream shops as a new flavor in 1931 and 1932.

“Rum and raisin chocolate bars” (from Toronto, Canada) was printed in the New York (NY) Herald Tribune on February 7, 1929. “Liquid pineapple, rum raisin, luscious cherry, fragrant strawberry” was printed in a Valentine’s Day ad for DeMet’s candies in the Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune on February 14, 1930.

“Rum Raisin Ice Cream” was printed in the Springfield (MA) Daily Republican on November 20, 1931. “Rum Raisin Custard” was printed in the Shamokin (PA) Daily News on November 24, 1931. “Rum Raisin” pudding was printed in the Ithaca (NY) Journal-News on December 22, 1931. “Rum Raisin Ice Cream” was printed in the Ardmore (OK) Daily Ardmoreite on January 14, 1932.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
rum and raisin n. a flavour of ice cream (or other dessert, confectionery, etc.) made with a mixture of rum and raisins; frequently attributive. Also: an ice cream, confectionery, etc., of this flavour; cf. rum raisin n. at Compounds 3.
1939 Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail 15 Dec. 5/1 (advt.) Rum and raisin cake 49c.
1941 Dunkirk (N.Y.) Evening Observer 9 May 6/5 (advt.) Rum and raisin ice cream pint 15c quart 29c.

rum raisin n. = rum and raisin n. at Phrases 2.
1934 Altoona (Pa.) Mirror 28 Nov. 20/3 (advt.) Flavors will include rum raisin, vanilla, chocolate or apricot ice cream.

7 February 1929, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 14, col. 4:
Toronto Denied Brandy Candy; Rum Takes Place
Used in Caramels, in Chocolates and Ice Creams

Special to the Herald Tribune
TORONTO, Feb. 6.—The brandy chocolate has gone, but rum candy has arrived. There are rum and butter caramels, rum and raisin chocolate bars. There are rum-flavored ice cream and plain ice cream with rum sauce.

14 February 1930, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 7, col. 5 ad:
Liquid pineapple, rum raisin, luscious cherry, fragrant strawberry.
(DeMet’s Candies.—ed.)

20 November 1931, Springfield (MA) Daily Republican, pg. 8, col. 7 ad:
Rum Raisin
Ice Cream
Special for Thanksgiving—try it—you’ll agree it’s delicious—something new, too.
15c Dish at Our Fountains
(Van Heusen’s Candies.—ed.)

22 November 1931, Anniston (AL) Star, pg. 3, col. 1:
Frozen Egg Nogg—Rum Raisin
Ice Cream
(Lloyd’s Sweet Shop.—ed.)

24 November 1931, Shamokin (PA) Daily News, pg. 7, col. 7 ad:
MARTZ’S delicious
ICE CREAM
Rum Raisin Custard
(Shamokin Sanitary Milk Co.—ed.)

24 November 1931, Shamokin (PA) Dispatch, pg. 9, col. 7 ad:
MARTZ’S delicious
ICE CREAM
Rum Raisin Custard
(Shamokin Sanitary Milk Co.—ed.)

22 December 1931, Ithaca (NY) Journal-News, pg. 10, col. 5 ad:
Puddings
Rum Raisin
(Ithaca Ice Cream Co., Inc., 701 West State Street.—ed.)

14 January 1932, Ardmore (OK) Daily Ardmoreite, pg. 12 ad:
Extra Special. Rum Raisin Ice Cream. Entirely New.
(Tom Cooper Farm.—ed.)

20 March 1932, The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. D3, col. 1 ad:
Rum Raisin Custard
(James Ice Cream Co.—ed.)

28 June 1932, Wilkes Barre (PA) , pg. 15, col. 8 ad:
TRU-BEST
ICE CREAM
TRY OUR SPECIAL FLAVOR
“RUM RAISIN”

7 July 1932, The Evening Reporter-Star (Orlando, FL), pg. 3, col. 1 ad:
MCELROY’S ICE CREAM
RUM RAISIN ICE CREAM ... 60c qt.

7 August 1932, St. Petersburg (FL) , sec. 1, pg. 3, col. 7 ad:
NEW!
RUM-RAISIN WITH VANILLA
WEBB’S DAIRY MADE ICE CREAM
(Webb Cut Rate Drug Co.—ed.)

18 October 1933, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 2, col. 5 ad:
And—here’s the new sensation—rum and raisin ice cream, 45 cents a quart.
(Fred Harvey’s Pastry Shop at the Union Station.—ed.)

12 February 1936, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 3, col. 4:
50 at Columbia Ill After Eating Rum Ice Cream
‘Rum and Raisin’ Dessert Served to 500 at Dormitory Tables Monday Night


Serious Eats (October 2013)
From the Pastry Dungeon: Rum Raisin Ice Cream
ANNA MARKOW
(...)
Rum raisin is a classic flavor incredibly popular in the Caribbean, but not so much in the states (too many irrational raisin-haters perhaps). I tasted it for the first time in Costa Rica and have had a soft spot for it ever since.

Raisins are soaked in dark rum for up to 2 days (the longer the soak time, the more they’ll absorb) and are churned into a base that seems fairly bland at first, with faint accents of brown sugar and cinnamon. After setting up for a full 24 hours, though, the rum flavor leaches into the ice cream itself and the bite of pure rum in the raisins mellows out considerably. And all the extra sugar and alcohol keeps the ice cream smooth and soft, ready to serve straight out of the freezer.

PreGel—P Magazine
When Rum Met Raisin Exploring One of Italy’s Finest Flavors
Posted on January 8, 2015 by Natalie Legra - Issue 24: Winter 2014 (Final Issue), What’s Blooming
(...)
The sweet, yet light, flavor of rum makes it an excellent choice for soaking raisins. In the 1980s Häagen-Dazs® introduced its rum raisin ice cream to the U.S. market. The frozen dessert boasts a sweet cream flavor and continues to be one of the brand’s classic favorites. Other companies also carry rum raisin ice cream, but it is typically found in more authentic dessert parlors.

As a gelato or ice cream, rum raisin is well paired with poached pear, apple pie, and tarts. In pastries, it is typically reserved for more traditional recipes, and commonly enjoyed during the holidays as a nostalgic flavor choice. Rum raisin bread pudding is one example, baked with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix in bananas and some eggnog for a truly seasonal dessert.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, January 28, 2019 • Permalink