Thursday, 1 January 2015

NYC Egg Cream in New York City has Neither Egg nor Cream ;-D

Every country have their signature drink. Singapore and Malaysia have their teh tarik. India has her masala tea.


New York City has it's Egg Cream. Appearing first in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, egg cream was once sold at most cafes and street carts in New York City. Gradually, the beverage disappeared, edged out by canned drinks because egg creams had to be hand made. Today, egg creams are found only in a handful of diners.

New York City egg cream is made with just 3 ingredients:
  1. Chocolate syrup
  2. Seltzer water
  3. Whole milk.

The chocolate syrup has to be the Fox's u-bet brand, not any old chocolate syrup. Fox's u-bet is made in Brooklyn, New York City since 1895. U-bet is said to have the best balance of sugar, chocolate and milk solids for egg cream.

Seltzer water is just plain water that has been pressurised and artificially carbonated. Ideally, the seltzer water should come out of a fountain which injects the carbonated water into the tall glass in a bubble saturated jet.

Very cold full cream milk is used in egg cream - never skimmed milk.

There is neither egg nor cream in egg cream. Some locals speculate that the name egg cream comes from the Yiddish phrase "echt keem" which means "pure sweetness" - which is how egg cream tastes. 


My first taste of New York City egg cream was at Classic Coffee Shop near NYC's Chinatown in the Lower East End. Carmine, the owner of Classic Coffee Shop, uses u-bet, full cream milk and a canned Seltzer.


A vigorous stir with a long necked teaspoon to create a head of frothy air bubbles. 

Egg cream is a fizzy sweet chocolaty drink with a frothy head. It's a layered kind of sweetness with a slight mineral taste and bubbly zing.

First taste brings the pleasure of novelty. The second drink, triggers thoughts of diabetes ;-p

A shot of egg cream at Classic Coffee Shop costs USD2.


Restaurant name: Classic Coffee Shop

Address: 56 Hester St. (at Ludlow St.), NYC, New York (Lower East Side)
Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm

My second glass of egg cream was at Joe Junior in Gramercy.


Making a New York egg cream at Joe Junior diner.


Joe Junior's rendition of New York egg cream. Seltzer comes from a fountain, the bubbles were finer and the froth was denser.

An egg cream at Joe Junior costs USD2.75.


Restaurant name: Joe Junior Restaurant

Address: 167 3rd Ave. (at 16th St.), Gramercy, NYC, New York
Hours: 6:00am to 11:00pm

Love it or loathe it, do give egg cream a try when you are in New York City. You won't find it anywhere else in the world and even here in NYC, it is sold only in a handful of coffee shops.

Get it fast before this disappearing NYC food icon is gone for forever.

Date visited: Dec 2014 and Jan 2015

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