A New York delicacy, the Egg Cream is a beverage of mystery. For starters, the name is totally misleading since it doesn't contain eggs and there usually isn't cream in one either. Nobody knows where the name came from, but there is no shortage of theories. The appearance is enigmatic, with a foamy white head, chocolate middle and sludgy bottom. When made properly, the taste is also rather surprising; it's similar to an ice cream soda made with melted ice cream and lots of chocolate syrup.
Egg creams can be found all over New York City, especially in the cheaper diners and delicatessens. Outside New York, they're harder to get. Due to the way they're made, Egg Creams do not store well when bottled, so there isn't really any distribution through supermarkets or convenience stores1. Also, the name is rather off-putting to the uninitiated, so it's not a feature of many menus. Still, if you persevere, you may be able to order it at a local Jewish delicatessen or you could just make it yourself.
How to Make an Egg Cream
Fill a glass 3/4 full with seltzer water
Add 1-2oz chocolate syrup
Add a little milk or cream to fill the glass
Stir and enjoy
According to legend, a Jewish Brooklyn candy store owner named Louis Auster invented the Egg Cream in 1890. The drink became extremely popular throughout New York, and a national ice cream chain for the recipe approached Auster in 1920. When he refused their low price, an executive of the company levelled an anti-Semitic slur at him. Auster angrily decided to take the formula to his grave and all his family members did the same. The only surviving member, his grandson, refuses to reveal the formula, only saying that the recipe involved neither eggs nor cream and that he doesn't know where the name came from either.