Made in Manchester? Ice-cream cones through raspberry sauce and chocolate. Photograph: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images
Made in Manchester? Ice-cream cones v raspberry sauce and also chocolate. Photograph: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images
This month, how to Eat is licking a summer standard into shape. Space waffle cones precious it? deserve to you yes, really walk and also eat ice-cream? and also are chocolate toppings a little flakey?

Manchester is the birthplace of many earth-shattering phenomena: the an initial programmable computer, Phil Foden, manufacturing facility Records, graphene, Emmeline Pankhurst, an are Afrika, vegetarianism, communism and Coronation Street. Yet could the city have likewise played a pivotal duty in creating … the ice-cream cone?

Definitely, come quote one of the city’s favourite sons, maybe.

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In 1901, Antonio Valvona, one of countless ice-cream equipments in Manchester’s small Italy, registered the very first patented device to make edible biscuit containers for his ices. These were cups no cones and the idea was no entirely new (in 1887, brothers so-called Queen that Ices, Agnes B Marshall, released a recipe for serving ice-cream in small cornets). Yet in partnership v businessman open minded Marchiony, Valvona was soon manufacturing his cups in brand-new York, a full two years before ice-cream hat – then well-known as cornucopias – became a breakout hit at the 1904 St Louis world Fair.

Quite when and how the cup ended up being a cone is shed in a bewildering variety of competing claims. The at an early stage 1900s us ice-cream scene was a lucrative, competitive civilization of dramatic subplots. By 1910, frank Marchiony and his cousin, Italo, currently regularly established as the true creator that the ice-cream cone, were duking it the end in court end the ideal to create them. But, undoubtedly, east Manchester’s industrial ingenuity fed right into this transformation.

That resourcefulness liberated ice-cream lovers from the threats of the unhygienic “penny-lick”, small, hastily rinsed glasses indigenous which the an excellent unwashed then ate ice-cream. It also saved humanity from the precarious design failure the is the ice-cream wafer sandwich; today appreciated only by pride mavericks.

The cone was plainly superior and also came to conquer 20th-century ice-cream. Tub purists struggle a rearguard action against the ubiquity, however in vain. From the classic icky valve soft-serve 99 to luxurious waffle cones piled high through sea buckthorn gelato and crushed Brontë pistachios, the cone is the UK’s portable, one-handed, waste-free favourite.

But what constitutes a next-level cone? just how to Eat – the series examining the optimum means to eat Britain’s favourite foods – has some thoughts on that.

Cone selection


Wafer or waffle cone? Photograph: us Are/Getty ImagesIs it time to reconsider the wafer cone? In the period of sugar and waffle cones, the wafer – essentially, structured wait – has come to be viewed as the cheap ‘n’ cheerful, tasteless option. Yet could that absence of overt flavour it is in a positive?

From ice-creams misguidedly mined v pieces that branded chocolate to fresh, cleanly characterized gelato flavours, us live in an er of accelerating ice-cream sophistication. Therefore, that seems sensible to prioritise the ice-cream’s flavour and also not, as you eat down the cone, have actually it skewed by the biscuity, frequently sickly sweet flavour of these supposedly upmarket street or waffle* cones.

Good ice-cream shines in a neutral wafer cone. V the included bonus that, if girlfriend fail to pressure the ice-cream under the cone’s stem (see, eat action), you will not it is in left eat a dry brown cone but rapidly dissolving pieces of quickly digested wafer. Wafer that is a palate cleanser after ~ the main event. Note: seek out XL wafer cones if you call for a double-scoop load capability.

There room sensational waffle cones out there, made v honey, treacle, syrup, inexplicable oils, brown sugar, butter and also cinnamon. In their tuile-adjacent, caramelised intricacy they complement the layered flavours of the ice-cream they hold. Yet these room rare. More often, the waffle cone is used for 2 reasons. Its strict edges permit staff to scrape in dense ice-cream v fewer breakages and also this faux-artisan prop help justify the £4 price-tag. Go it add to the as whole experience, though? no regularly.

*Sugar and waffle cones space made from similar ingredients. The former are smoother with a level rim. More thickness waffle cones space grid-indented v a bent rim.

Cone accoutrements


A cone through all the trimmings. Photograph: Catherine falls Commercial/Getty ImagesFrom rims decorated through hundreds and thousands (how old are you, five?) to the “chocolate-flavoured” building material in which cones are occasionally dipped, it every feels like unnecessary gilding – one OTT eye-catcher the adds small flavour.

Prissy napkin-twists or document sleeves wrapped approximately the stem room superfluous, too. This supposedly classy touch denies girlfriend the tactile pleasure of emotion the textured cone. If ice-cream is dripping on to your fingers, you are eating also slowly.

One scoop or two?

Curiously, HTE has never seen anyone rocking two different flavours on a traditional, twin-cup wafer cone. The is a vessel exclusively reserved for the dual 99 (about which, HTE continues to be ambivalent). Rather, the two-scoop is a modern-day invention, simultaneously driven by the climb of larger, posher cones, the Insta-friendly colours of loaded jumbo serves and also late capitalism’s capacity to seeds insatiable greedy maximalism in every things. Enough is never ever enough. More is constantly more.

Or therefore we are sold. In fact, enjoying one solo ice-cream flavour is optimal. If the ice-cream is great enough, it will certainly sustain interest. It must be apparent that if you choose to combine flavours, those flavours should enhance each various other in a support reinforcing way. Because that example, salted caramel and also chocolate rather than summer berry cheesecake and also mint choc chip. But given some of the provocative abominations friend see world eating, this bears repeating.

Eating action


Could do far better … Photograph: Sally Anscombe/Getty ImagesIn Italy, la passeggiata, promenading the an evening quite probably with an ice-cream in hand, is a nationwide pastime. Yet walking with an ice-cream distracts friend from eating. The ice-cream becomes incidental. That appears a shame.

Better to uncover a wall, bus-stop or job of grass wherein you have the right to sit, or a doorway to hover in, where you can eat intently.

First, lick rapidly about the cone’s rim, rotating it versus your tongue, to avoid drips. When you have created a controllable dome, relax. You have the right to now proceed at a leisurely pace, luxuriating in every steady, purposeful lick. And also it should be a lick, no a slurp, no a gulp, definitely not a monstrous bite (only psychopaths bite ice-cream). Occasionally, you may need to execute a guppy-like nibble to remove any type of teetering peeks however these need to be modest and infrequent, otherwise you room inhaling quite than enjoy it the ice-cream. Lick the cone right into submission.

As you do so, through the level of your tongue, gently pressure some ice-cream down right into the cone. It is one undignified procedure that requires dexterity, but it is necessary to protect against being left with, horrifyingly, an north cone end. Over there is, literally, no funny in that.

Toppings … or not


Does plain mean perfect? Photograph: Lucy Lambriex/Getty ImagesThe list of desirable ice-cream toppings is remarkable short. In the best flavour context, the alien, hypersynthetic soot of raspberry or strawberry sauce is impressive (contrast these with the musty artifice of many bitter chocolate syrups). Number of rungs up the culinary ladder, salted caramel sauce boosts everything: chicken, muesli, definitely ice-cream. A dusting the honeycomb shards or salty biscuit crumbs have the right to work, too, but little else does.

Chopped nuts revolve to gravel in ice-cream. Fudge pieces or rod are simply too much. Ornamental wafers space baffling (no one has ever said: “You know what this ice-cream needs, much more wafer!”) Marshmallow pieces, jelly sweets or various other cut-price confectionery have actually no place in ice-cream, galumphing approximately with their sugary dimension nines. Smashed meringue sounds an ext attractive but is, likewise, nauseating. Freeze-dried fruit could include a puckering zing come ice-creams yet are unleashed through all the subtlety the an artillery barrage.

HTE would argue the biggest myth in the topping video game is that chocolate works v ice-cream. It is a mix that consistently delivers less than the sum of its parts.

Think of chocolate (chips, balls, shards etc) together flavour and also aroma link locked in cocoa butter. The butter must melt conveniently for a smooth mouthfeel and to release said compounds. Paired v ice-cream, that will struggle to perform so, due to the fact that unless you host it in your mouth because that an unnaturally lengthy time, the cacao will be also cold to melt readily.

Tackling this knotty problem, creating coco that behaves favourably in ice-cream, is one that food science has only recently obtained to grips with. Girlfriend cannot just smash up any old chocolate and dip a cone in it. Friend may get a fleeting cacao hit that way but, in HTE’s opinion, it will have actually a fairly gritty, waxy, diminished quality. Much better to save that coco for another time.


Have you ever seen anyone offer ice-cream in cones in ~ home? Baffling, isn’t it? A rubbish of money, calories and time if you own bowls and spoons. In public, the ice-cream cone is convenient. In ~ home, it is a rather ludicrous affectation. As for buying devices to make your very own waffle cones, HTE is putting that idea top top a to-do list for the 12th that never.

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Nothing. Ice-cream wreaks confounding temperature havoc with tea and coffee, transforms wine into battery acid and also beer right into a sliver of metallic bitterness. If you really must jet-hose your tonsils, something carbonated and also stridently sweet that have the right to assert itself against the ice-cream is necessary. Fizzy pop, basically.