In 1904, David Evans Strickler, a young man working at the soda fountain in a pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa., concocted one of America's favorite desserts, the banana split. In later years, the drugstore chain Walgreens popularized the dessert. Walgreens no longer has soda fountains, but its lasting legacy is clear: The banana split is now a cherished classic.
If you're a fan of the banana split, you may be wondering how to make it just right. So The Daily Meal teamed up with Eva Marquez at 66 Diner located in Albuquerque, N.M., on historic Route 66, to bring you the ultimate banana split. It's not just made, it's crafted, with layers of flavor to ensure that each bite is heavenly. And careful construction is key, because as you can see from the photo above, this banana split is huge, and not meant for solitary consumption. So how do they do it?
To start, they use a glass boat, just like in the classic rendition of the dessert. Then, chocolate syrup goes in the bottom of the plate to form a decadent base. Next, the banana — it should be just ripe enough to peel, so it shouldn't have any spots, says Marquez. You want a banana that'll have good flavor but will still hold its shape when the dessert is assembled. Peel it, cut off the ends, then slice the banana through the middle lengthwise, and place the slices on either side of the boat.
Now, take three scoops of vanilla ice cream, and place on one side of the boat. Then, take three scoops of strawberry ice cream and place on the other end of the boat, leaving room in between. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the vanilla ice cream, and strawberry syrup over the strawberry ice cream. Now for the chocolate ice cream — take three scoops and place in between the vanilla and strawberry ice creams.
On top of the chocolate ice cream, place about two tablespoons of fresh, small pineapple chunks. Then, open up a brand-new can of whipped cream. It's important that it's brand-new, since it will help hold everything together better than a used can of whipped cream; don't ask why, just do it, OK? (Anyway, you'll need the whole can if you want it to look like the picture above.) Spray in small swirls, starting from the bottom of the boat and working your way around the entire dessert (like scaling a mountain) until you end up at the top.
You're not quite done yet. Finish with chocolate syrup all over, and some caramel. Take a handful of roasted, salted peanuts, scatter them all over the dessert, and place three maraschino cherries on top. Now, go break up with someone so you have an excuse to eat this.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.