LATROBE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than a century after apprentice pharmacist David Strickler of Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa., dished up the first banana split for students of nearby Saint Vincent College, the city of 8,900 southeast of Pittsburgh has been officially proclaimed the birthplace of the iconic, triple-scoop sundae.
Today’s unveiling of a Pennsylvania state historical marker honoring Strickler’s dessert-making genius comes after a similar designation in 2004 by the National Ice Cream Retailers Association and puts to rest years of friendly competition between Latrobe and other cities claiming to have invented the banana split. (None, however, predate Latrobe’s substantiated claim of 1904.)
The Great American Banana Split Celebration, continuing through August 25 in Latrobe, features three days of ceremonies, tastings, run/walks, parties and dances commemorating Pennsylvania’s designation of Latrobe as the official banana split birthplace and culminating in the world’s largest banana split bar at Saint Vincent College on National Banana Split Day, Aug. 25.
Dole Fresh Fruit, based in Westlake Village, Calif., is a title sponsor of the event and will be supporting by providing thousands of DOLE® Bananas and recipes for banana-themed salads, entrees, cocktails and healthier banana splits made with Greek yogurt, sorbet, honey, pomegranates and fresh berries.
“DOLE is America’s favorite banana – so it makes perfect sense for us to honor America’s favorite dessert and the now-official city where it was created,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “Of course, this being Dole, we strive to encourage responsible nutrition along with greater fruit and vegetable consumption. So we will also introduce healthier versions of the famously decadent sundae with less calories and fat. We’re out to show that it is possible to eat smart and still enjoy your banana split, too.”
The Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, Latrobe Rotary Club, Valley Dairy Restaurants, Latrobe Business and Professional Women's Club, Latrobe Lions Club and Westmoreland Hope in Action are helping organize the event.
For a detailed schedule of events, go to www.cityoflatrobe.com.
For information on DOLE Bananas, including recipes, serving suggestions and other information, go to www.dole.com/peelthelove.