There comes a time in everyone’s life where the craving for a banana split overcomes you and you have to answer the call and have one. Why is it? This addictive dessert has a long history in the United States, and it is beginning to be appreciated more around the world. The banana split derives its origins from the classic American Soda Fountain/Pharmacy shops that dominated small town culture at the turn of the 20th century. The original banana split is attributed to one such establishment in Pennsylvania, which gained notoriety for the idea around 1904.

The best way to understand a banana split is that it is a banana based ice cream sundae. This is why everyone loves them, because they combine the deliciousness of the banana with the greatest simple dessert, the ice cream sundae that we all know and love. The basic ingredients are vanilla (usually) ice cream, a banana sliced longways (hence the “split”), nuts, and chocolate sauce topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. From there, each creator has the freedom to add other toppings and twist the traditional dish into something that is just right for them. Both gourmet and homemade banana splits (and everything in between) are delicious in their own way.

The best place to have a real banana split is in one of the old original soda fountains or candy shops that still exist in certain parts of the United States today. This is also a great place to enjoy a root beer float, milkshake, or some simple snacks or other sweets. However, these locations are few and far between these days, so really the best thing to do is to make one yourself! Yes, making your own banana split is so easy and allows you to make it to your exact specifications. Maybe you want extra nuts? Or three or four maraschino cherries on top? Homemade banana splits are an easy and incredibly satisfying indulgence to have any time of year and for any occasion.