The egg cream! The quintessential New York City beverage. My favorite drink! I grew up drinking them. Back then, every corner candy store/soda fountain on the Lower East Side served them. Now, you can still get a good one at Ray’s (hole-in-the-wall) Candy Store, on Avenue A, and at Gem Spa, on 2nd Avenue (not a spa, but a shop that sells fountain drinks, ice cream, candy, newspapers, and magazines).
For true egg cream aficionados, there is only one official chocolate syrup: Fox’s u-bet. In fact, the company is so highly identified with the egg cream, they have the recipe on their website.
The syrup used to come in glass jars; now, it’s in brown-colored plastic with that distinctive label. The company used to use sugar year round; now, they’re using corn syrup, which does give the syrup a slightly different flavor. However, for the short period before Passover, since corn syrup is not kosher for Passover, they switch back temporarily to sugar. That’s when we traditionalists stock up.
There is some news on the egg cream front.
A friend just told me that EMP is now serving egg creams. My immediate reaction? Wow! My favorite restaurant in the world is now serving my favorite drink in the world! The friend linked me to a YouTube. I click. Hey, there’s Service Director Megan Vaughan doing a demo!
Now, fellow egg cream enthusiasts, as you watched this video, perhaps like me, you had some questions? Why did the mixture look so pale? What syrup are they using? And what’s in that dropper?
Well, I soon learned that EMP’s is not the classic egg cream. Seems they’re going all fancy-schmancy on us. In the version shown in the video, the flavors are malted milk and olive oil. Hmmm… I have also been informed that the flavors will change with the seasons. Hmmm… I must admit my enthusiasm is a bit tempered.
Nevertheless, you can be sure that I will be checking out EMP’s “egg cream” the next time we are there.