Hardly a great culinary triumph, but a memory no less intense for being everyday simple, is the black-and-white soda of American soda fountain fame. I remember hot, humid days in Manhattan, walking along hoping I would pass a Schrafft’s so that I could nip into the air-conditioned room, sit at the cool marble counter, and order a black-and-white. In those days the ice cream was good, the chocolate syrup was real, and the soda had big, lasting bubbles. The bite of the soda water against the sweetness of the chocolate was what battling the heat was all about. To make a black-and-white soda, use the best chocolate sauce you can find, get some good Italian ice cream and very lively soda water. Put the syrup in the bottom of a tall glass, add scoops of ice cream, pour in the soda, and stir briefly with a long-handled spoon just enough to mix the chocolate and soda so that the whole thing is frothy and marbled. Drink through a long straw and then scoop up the last of the ice cream with the spoon. A few contented sighs, and then out onto the streets again, able to face anything, wearing the invincible armor of pleasure.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.