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Q: Ice cream name ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: Ice cream name
Category: Sports and Recreation > Trivia
Asked by: webster123-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 20 Dec 2004 08:39 PST
Expires: 19 Jan 2005 08:39 PST
Question ID: 445125
How did Tin Roof Sundae icecream get its name? Why is it so called?

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 20 Dec 2004 10:15 PST
Hi webster123,

This sounds like it could just well be it. If you agree, I'll be happy
to post it as an answer.

"...I bet it has to do with the way barns and outbuildings used to
look from a distance with their poorly galvanized roofs rusting darkly
away over a whitewashed sub-structure. Birds perched on the roof ridge
would have become peanuts for the soda jerk..."


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Dec 2004 10:52 PST
I found mention of a Tin Roof Sundae ice cream treat in a 1908
newspaper, but no mention of why it was called that...Hummer-ga's
supposition may well be the best explanation out there.


Clarification of Question by webster123-ga on 20 Dec 2004 11:59 PST
It sounds like a really good guess, from your astute intutions.
However, I need to know that this is accurate beyond a reasonable
doubt. The answer has been haunting my husband for years and he has
asked for this answer for Christmas. Yes, he IS a trivia geek. If you
can pursue this in more detail, I'd be ever so grateful. Being that
this originated in Potter, Nebraska it sounds like you are on the
right track, maybe further research into "the home of the sharpest
curve" will nail it? Can you research a bit further and provide a more
definitive answer? Thanks much!

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 20 Dec 2004 12:28 PST
Hi again,

What an interesting quest! I've emailed the person who belongs to this
website: and will let you know if they get
back to me.

Researchers, feel free to answer this one (whether about Potter or
not) - sounds like we have a deadline!


Request for Question Clarification by journalist-ga on 20 Dec 2004 13:07 PST
I can only offer a guess, and here it is: Red tin was used for barn
roofs and out-building roofs as mentioned above by Hummer-ga, and it
also was the roof type/color of the first Red Roof Inns.  A popular
tin color of the past.  Because a Tin Roof Sundae is to be made with
red-skinned Spanish peanuts, I imagine that is how the sundae got its

Hope this helps!  : )

Best regards,

"Title: Tin Roof Sundae...Assemble in a sundae dish, vanilla ice cream
and top with chocolate sauce.  Sprinkle with whole red skinned Spanish
peanuts, holding the whipped cream."

Request for Question Clarification by journalist-ga on 20 Dec 2004 13:12 PST
P.S.  After I posted my guess, I found someone else has made the same
guess at

"Embossed tin shingles, whose surfaces created interesting patterns,
were popular throughout the country in the late 19th century. Tin
roofs were kept well painted, usually red....Perhaps the whole Spanish
peanuts with their red skins made a sort of pattern that reminded
people of tin roofs."

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by webster123-ga on 21 Dec 2004 06:26 PST
Good work! I'm convinced. However, may we keep this open til a bit
longer to post this? Because this is a gift, I don't want to spoil a
suprise. I see that this expires 1.19.05. Should there be any peanut
unturned, I'm sure my husband will find it...Either way, can I reply
to you after the holidays to tell you he's 100% satisfied or needs a
bit more clarification? Thanks again for your help!

Request for Question Clarification by journalist-ga on 21 Dec 2004 08:25 PST
Well, I must confess that I was not acquainted with Tin Roof Sundaes
until your question I've a hankering to try one!  lol 
I did run across the name Farrell's in a few online posts (related to
the Tin Roof Sundaes) so I researched that company name, too.

A Farrell's menu at mentions
"PARLOUR?S TIN ROOF $5.99 A great foundation of hot fudge and Spanish
peanuts supports two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Topped with more
creamy fudge, a tin roof of peanuts, whipped cream, and a cherry. It
brings the house."  A good reference to "tin roof of peanuts" there,
and the Spanish (red) peanuts.

The page also states that Farrell's was created in 1963...a far cry
from Pafalafa's mention of 1908.  Also, a recipe page at shows three Tin
Roof recipes - all contain the peanut toppings.

Perhaps more infomation will turn up to offer your husband a more
solid history of the sundae.  Thanks for asking this very intriguing

Best regards,

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 21 Dec 2004 08:50 PST
Hi again,

That quote that journalist-ga posted ("Embossed tin shingles, whose
surfaces created interesting patterns, were popular throughout the
country in the late 19th century...") is actually from the National
Parks Service, Preservation Brief 4 and it includes an image of the
tin shingle.

"Tin shingles, commonly embossed to imitate wod or tile, or with a
decorative design, were popular as an inexpensive, textured roofing
material. Photo: NPS files."

I hope that helps. I haven't received a reply to my email yet, will
let you know when/if I do.


Clarification of Question by webster123-ga on 29 Dec 2004 10:55 PST
Ok, the icecream info was received, however as I suspected, the answer
was far too anecdotal. Any sympathetic Alicia Nash fans would
understand my quest to provide a proven-beyond-doubt-answer for their
husband. Really. I can locate "John Nash, Jr" for you. Really. Really.
Thanks for your help. If need be, I can raise the stakes if absolutely
necessary. This is one itch I just can't scratch.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Ice cream name
From: kriswrite-ga on 29 Dec 2004 12:10 PST
Very often, there is are no "hard facts" when it comes to how
something got its name, how a tradition began, or how a word came to
be. My suspicion is that what you've got on "tin roof" is all that's
out there, and any pat answers you find should be approached with a
healthy level of skepticism. :)


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