Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

99 Ice Cream

565 of 1160 nominations


99 Ice Cream

Is this an icon?


99 Ice Cream

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origins of the "ice cream cone made with soft ice cream with a stick of flaky chocolate inserted into it" are unknown. Theories abound, though: the most popular legend was that one of the Italian kings had a group of 99 of the very best soldiers for his bodyguards – therefore anything first-class was dubbed a "99". Cadbury’s agrees with this story, saying that when it launched its small Flake for ice creams in 1930, the UK ice cream industry was dominated by expat Italians and so they called the Flake version a 99.

Not so, said the BBC2 series Balderdash And Piffle, which claimed the name came from the cone made by Askeys, stamped with a figure 99. And in January 2006, Rudi Arcari, an ice cream maker from Edinburgh, claimed the 99 was invented by her grandfather in 1922, and named after the address of the family's shop, 99 Portobello High Street. You decide...

Photo: Dave Gorman http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgbalancesrocks/


Your comments

An ice cream cone, topped with a swirl of soft vanilla ice cream finished off with a chocolate Flake. A fantastic treat for all English people that leaves you with a serious dilemma - do you eat the Flake first or push it into the cone and save it until the end? I lack will power and always eat it first!

John O'Hara

Interesting that all you English folk seem to have the need to claim things as English when they are not exclusively so. I can see things like a "pork pie" being English - but a 99? Get a grip - if you have'nt enough solely ENGLISH things to nominate - then that's a worry!

The classic English refreshment on a summer's day out. Sold at every popular activity area in the country and even within the streets in which we live, accompanied by the tinkling tune of the van to call the children out. The sight of a 99 is bound to bring forth a memory in everyone who grew up in England.
Claire Adams

View All Comments (4)



My nomination is the garden shed.