Hungry for Snack Facts? Get Your Fill Here!
Who doesn’t love to bite into a warm chewy pretzel or a cheesy slice of wood fired pizza? How about sinking your teeth into an old fashioned ice cream sandwich or a decadent whoopee pie? Americans sure do love their snack foods, yet how many people stop to think about the history and origins of these delightful morsels? At Pastime Pinball, we’re all about educating people about classic pastimes! Each of our pinball machines has its own bio, so it’s only fair that our snack foods get their own write-ups too!
Soft Pretzel: According to legend, soft pretzels were first created by an Italian monk who, in 610 AD, baked strips of dough folded into the shape of a child crossing its arms in prayer. The doughy knots spread across Europe during the Middle Ages and were brought to the United States by German immigrants in the early 1800s, where they were sold in pushcarts on the streets of New York and Philadelphia. In keeping with tradition, our soft baked pretzels are hand-crafted in Brooklyn, New York.
Popcorn: One of the oldest snack foods dating back thousands of years, popcorn burst onto the scene in Chicago, Illinois in 1885 with the invention of the first commercial popcorn machines. One hundred years later microwaveable popcorn joined the family. Not surprisingly, the United States is the world’s biggest producer of popcorn with Americans consuming a whopping 13 billion quarts annually! Our popcorn is grown in the midwest and is non-GMO and certified kosher.
Hotdog: German immigrants brought wieners to New York in the 1860s, but it was a Polish immigrant by the name of Nathan Handwerker who, in 1915, opened a hotdog stand and brought affordable wieners to the masses with his Nathan’s Famous. For over one hundred years hotdogs have been considered a fun summertime food, with Americans consuming over 20 billion dogs every year! We serve Hebrew National Franks made with premium cuts of 100% kosher beef.
Dixie Cup: Introduced in 1907, a Dixie cup was just a paper drinking vessel invented to replace communal cups and thereby stop the spread of disease. In 1923 the company began filling the cups with two flavors of ice cream and the individual servings were an instantaneous success! While not actual Dixie cups, our premium cups come from Vermont’s own Wilcox Ice Cream. In fact, back in the 1920s the Wilcox family used to make their ice cream right here in Manchester Village!
Ice Cream Sandwich: Made by hand in the early 1900s and sold on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey as well as in pushcarts in New York City, the ice cream sandwich was first mass produced in 1945 and sold at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of ice cream novelties have come into existence since that time, but the humble ice cream sandwich remains a favorite of the young and young at heart!
Belgium Waffle: Waffles were first made in the Middle Ages and sold outside of churches in Belgium. The Brussels waffle, which we now call a Belgium waffle, didn't make its way to the United States until the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. Topped with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries, they quickly became an American sensation! We’ve put our own twist on this treat by serving it on a stick drizzled with a decadent chocolate ganache.
Nachos & Vermont Cheese: Created in Mexico in 1943 and called Nachos Especiales, the ooey-gooey version we know today was first served in 1976 at a Texas Rangers baseball game concession stand in Arlington, Texas. While that “pump-able” cheese sauce is not technically cheese, our homemade all-natural cheese sauce uses Vermont cheddar cheese from New England’s own Cabot Creamery.
Pizza: Originally an inexpensive peasant food, pizza was brought to the United States by southern Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. Made by hand in coal-fired ovens using local ingredients, this ethnic staple remained in the urban enclaves of the northeast until 1945 when an American GI stationed in Italy returned home with a hankering for pizza and built the first gas-fired pizza oven. It wasn’t long before pizza chains like Pizza Hut and Dominos appeared. Luckily for us locally sourced handmade pizza — like the ones we serve from Sam’s Wood Fired Pizza right down the street —still exists!
Whoopee Pie: The official state treat of Maine, whoopie pie is a sandwich made of two chocolate cakes with a creamy frosting in between. Legend has it that Amish bakers in Pennsylvania made them from leftover batter and children who found them in their lunch bags would shout “whoopie!” The recipe migrated up north and in 1925 Labadie’s Bakery opened in Lewiston, Maine and started selling them. Whoopee pie has been a New England phenomenon ever since!
Root Beer Float: Legend has it that this refreshing treat was created in 1893 by Frank J. Wisner, owner of Cripple Creek Brewing in Colorado. Inspired by snowy peaks on Cow Mountain that looked to him like ice cream floating in soda, he went home and combined root beer and vanilla ice cream. He called his concoction a Black Cow. Our root beer floats are made with Boylan's Root Beer and Vermont’s own premium Wilcox ice cream.