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Ninety-Nine Ice Cream

Puddings - Sweet Deserts

A wafer cone of soft ice cream with a stick of flaky chocolate inserted into it.

Image: unknown

The origin of the name is uncertain, but almost certainly dates from the 1930's when Cadbury began providing short-length flake chocolates specifically for ice creams, and Askeys, the cone-makers, started providing a 'dripless' cup cone, both, seemingly independently using the '99' branding. However, the earliest ice-cream treats sold as '99' were wafer sandwiches with a stick of chocolate in the centre (OED).

Possible reasons suggested for the name include:

  • Ice cream is 'IC' which is one way of writing 99 in Roman numerals.
  • Italy had, or a king had, or the Pope has, a group of 99 elite soldiers, so anything first-rate was dubbed a '99' by Italians, including those in the English ice-cream trade.
  • The flakes are 99mm long
  • A chocolate flake has 99 layers.
  • They were invented by Edinburgh ice cream maker Rudi Arcari in the 1920s at his shop, 99 Portobello High St.
  • They originally cost 6/6 per box of 99 items

  • 99 Ice Cream
    Image: 'distillated'

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