It wasn’t until I was well into my adult years, that I figured out Neapolitan must mean “from Naples” (as in Naples, Italy). Indeed, a quick trip to Wikipedia confirms Neapolitan ice cream was brought to the United States by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. Smart folks, those Italians!
Fast forward to 2016, where one crazy Popcornopolis Crunchologist (uh, that'd be me) came up with a way to make a striped frozen confection with all the flavors (and colors) of the Neapolitan original, plus something more… that signature Popcornopolis CRUNCH! If mom were around today, I think she’d be proud!
To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:
• Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice creams
• Popcornopolis Zebra Popcorn
• Popcornopolis Strawberries & Cream Popcorn
• Chopped or slivered nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
• Chocolate Sauce
• Sliced Fresh Strawberries (seasonal option)
• Whipped Cream (optional)
You’ll notice I didn’t provide measurements for the ingredients. I happen to belong to the “never measure if you can avoid it” school of cooking which says, if the ingredients are good and all the flavors are balanced, then it’s gonna be amazing! Of course, I can never make a dish come out exactly the same way twice, but that's a small price to pay for the creative satisfaction I get from cooking by feel.
While you’re getting ready to build your masterpiece, I suggest chilling your serving bowls in the freezer. Also, take a moment to organize all the dry ingredients in their own bowls (since you want to be able to build and serve the sundaes quickly—hopefully before they melt!).
Fun with Food.
Using a small ice-cream scoop, dish out the desired quantity of each flavor (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate).
Strategically place Strawberries & Cream and Zebra Popcorn kernels in and all around the ice cream.
Sprinkle the nuts, drizzle the chocolate sauce, et voila!
Remember, the popcorn and nuts provide the crunch—so the more ice cream you use, the more popcorn and nuts you’ll need to keep the creamy-to-crunchy ratio just right! I like to get a kernel of chocolatey popcorn, some ice cream, chocolate sauce and nuts in every bite! If you get that right, this is one of the most satisfying desserts you’ll ever devour.
• 10 points for slicing and artfully placing thinly sliced strawberries around the rim of your bowl.
• 10 points each for whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top.*
• 100 points for taking a picture of your Showstopper Neapolitan Popcorn Sundae and emailing it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Originally from the Marasca cherry, grown in coastal Croatia. Marasca comes from the Italian words amarasca and amaro, which stem from the Latin word meaning “bitter”. Of course the maraschino cherry we know and love is anything BUT bitter. The American version is of the Royal Ann version of (quite) sweet cherries.