CONSHOHOCKEN – During the Battle of Matson’s Ford in 1777, soldiers of George Washington’s Continental Army evaded the British by destroying a temporary bridge they had built over the Schuylkill near modern Conshohocken and West Conshohocken before continue a few miles uphill to a pass at Swede’s Ford near Norristown.
The August 28 “Battle of the Bridges” probably won’t change history, it will just grant bragging rights. At least, that’s how officials from Bridgeport, Conshohocken, Norristown and West Conshohocken see it as they prepare to face off (sort of) on their favorite ice cream spots. In contention? Frosty Falls (Mayor of Bridgeport, Beth Jacksier); Scoops (Mayor of Conshohocken Yaniv Aronson); Joe’s Water Ice and Ice Cream (Norristown Council Chairman Tom Lepera); and Wawa (Mayor of West Conshohocken, Danelle Fournier).
As planned, the four will be at Joe’s, 310 E. Johnson Hwy., Norristown, at 3 p.m.; Frosty Falls, 96 DeKalb Street, Bridgeport, at 3:45 p.m.; Wawa, 100 Crawford Ave., West Conshohocken, at 4:30 p.m.; and Scoops, 515 Fayette St., Conshohocken, at 5:15 p.m.
“Joe’s has been a Norristown staple for years, and it’s the clear favorite,” says Lepera.
“With no disrespect, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a two-horse race between Joe’s and Scoop’s.”
Let the trash talk begin.
Not really. The upcoming “battle” is “just a fun, low-key way to get together with people,” says Aronson, a veteran of previous Conshohocken-Bridgeport-West Conshohocken tastes.
As of press time, Fournier was out of the country, but fellow dignitaries spoke eloquently of their personal frozen favorites – Jacksier, a soft-serve cannoli special; Aronson, a simple dish of fine mint crisps; and Lepera, a cherry-chocolate Joe-Latti.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association’s 2022 Ice Cream & Frozen Novelty Trends Survey, Americans’ top ice cream flavors are chocolate, cookies, and vanilla, followed by strawberry, chocolate chip, cookie dough, buttered pecans, chocolate chip cookie dough and caramel. /salted caramel. The winners of the 2022 annual IDFA Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition? Purple Daze by The Ice Cream Club Inc.; the Strawberry Cheesecake Twist Cone from Wells Enterprises Inc.; and Hudsonville Ice Cream’s Monkey Bread.
“But don’t go looking for Monkey Bread just yet,” IDFA spokespersons warn. “It’s a prototype…”
And a far cry from the earliest forerunners of the frozen treat – for example, the honey-and-nectar flavored snow and ice mix that Alexander the Great would have enjoyed.
“Biblical references also show that King Solomon loved iced drinks during the harvest,” the IDFA continues in its “The Evolution of Ice Cream.” “During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (AD 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruit and juices.”
Overlooking European innovations subsequent to the American Revolution and the era surrounding the 18th century Battle of the Bridges…
“The first advertisement for ice cream in this country appeared in the ‘New York Gazette’ on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that it was available ‘almost daily,'” the IDFA notes.
And 13 years after the first battle of the bridges in this region…
“Records kept by a merchant in Chatham Street, New York, show that President George Washington spent about $200 on ice cream in the summer of 1790.”
These days, the organization estimates that “the average American eats about 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about four gallons,” resulting in ice cream’s $13.1 billion impact on the world. American economy. That said, Jacksier, Aronson, Lepera and Fournier promise that the August 28 event will be without historical and economic references – “just something fun to do as summer draws to a close.” In fact, Aronson predicts: “If there is any vote, it will probably end in a tie at four.”
Additional information is available on the participants’ social media sites.