An elaborate ice cream sundae formed in layers and served in a very tall conical glass, to be eaten with a distinctive long spoon. The layers might include nuts, meringue, fruits, biscuit or chocolate, topped with whipped cream nippled by a single glace cherry or similar bold fruit.
The word 'Knickerbocker' comes from the Dutch surname sufficiently significant among early settlers in New York to have became a nickname for old-style European-Americans, and their distinctive trousers. As a sweet desert, however, it seems to now be entirely English, though the origin is unclear.
It is possibly the case that KG was created and named in the 1920's by Lyon's Bakeries as part of a fantasy range of ice-creams for their 'Corner House' cafes alongside other outerwear-themed desserts, such as the 'plus four'. Indeed, an article in the 'Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer' - Monday 06 May 1929, p8 - tells of an unusually greedy schoolboy who; "declared:-'it's nothing. I should have had room for Knickerbocker Glory, or a Charlie Chaplin Waistcoat, to finish up with!' on inquiry, it was found that these illuminating names referred to ice-cream sundaes."
Another possibility is that the name is somehow connected with the Knickerbocker Ice Co of New York, one of the largest 19th Century 'ice harvesters' who collected ice from frozen lakes in winter and stored it in insulated ice-houses to sell over summer and whose business disappeared along with the appearance of refrigerators in the 1920's.
Knickerbocker Ice Co, New York, 1869
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