Sprinkle, sprinkle little star
August 31, 2017 3:26 PM   Subscribe

...when it was my turn, I put in my default order: vanilla ice cream in a sugar cone, with chocolate sprinkles. "You have chocolate sprinkles, right?" I asked the kid behind the counter. "We do!" he said. "Chocolate ones?" I asked. "Well, no," he admitted. "They're rainbow sprinkles. Is that okay?" I told him to forget it. What was the point when, in my world, an ice cream cone without chocolate sprinkles isn't an ice cream cone at all? -- Where Have All The Sprinkles Gone? by Keith Pandolfi, Serious Eats.

"It takes three days to make a batch of chocolate sprinkles." (Food Network video)

Etymology of Jimmies (Ice Cream Sprinkles) -- per Snopes, the name is probably not racist.

No previouslies, but I did recall this slight regional derail about Sprinkles vs. Jimmies. Philadelphia also weighs in.
posted by Room 641-A (57 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
The standard jimmies depicted are fine, but some places in MA have a variant that's just so goddamn good. Chocolate, but thinner than the stock ones, much better chocolate quality, and super delicious.

Frozen Freddy's in Quincy and Crescent Ridge in Sharon typically have them.

(why yes, I do love ice cream with jimmies, why do you ask?)
posted by tocts at 3:41 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


"Jimmies" not racist? Best news I've heard all day.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:44 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]




Alt-f Hamster Poop. Huh, guess it's just me then.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:54 PM on August 31 [7 favorites]


It's odd that all of the interesting information in this article is from Stella Parks, who also writes for Serious Eats. Would have liked to see her actually write the article and skip the middle aged Brooklynite dude reveries, but maybe she's busy, since her book just dropped.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:02 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


In the UK we call them "Hundreds and Thousands" and although charming this brings its own problems.
posted by samworm at 4:06 PM on August 31 [15 favorites]


We buy De Ruijter hagelslag from Amazon so we always have an overwhelming supply of real-chocolate sprinkles. But maybe that's cheating.

Anyway, Mister Softee does still offer chocolate sprinkles, and plenty of people order them (I watched an enormous line of people at a block party; I saw a lot of cones with chocolate sprinkles).
posted by uncleozzy at 4:22 PM on August 31 [7 favorites]


When I was 8, my family moved from California to Massachussetts, just outside of Boston (Dedham), as part of a one-year teacher exchange program between the prep school where my dad taught and Nobles and Greenough. I was astounded by many things in this new land--the prevalence of graveyards (I'd never even seen one, and here they were, right in the middle of the cities!), the "whiffle" cut (a buzz cut hairdo), crazy-ass Masshole accents, to name a few.

But perhaps the most exciting new discovery was Jimmies. Sprinkles. We just didn't have 'em at Thrifty back home (where a single cylindrical scoop was just 15 cents). But damn they were good. I remember my mother telling me that nobody in Boston knew me, that I could have a whole new identity, a new name, even. I was this close to starting third grade as "Jimmy." I tell ya.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:24 PM on August 31 [10 favorites]


Ah, Dedham. Ron's in Dedham Center used to have a sign up saying you could get jimmies or sprinkles - and the locals, of course, knew the difference.

This little ice-cream place in Boston's Roslindale Square knows what's up.
posted by adamg at 4:27 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Jimmies (only the chocolate ones are jimmies dammit, rainbow ones are sprinkles) are ubiquitous here in MA. Can't call yourself an ice cream shop if you don't have them. I mean, really.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:28 PM on August 31 [7 favorites]


Seconding that there are two types of jimmies, the fat ones that look and have the same texture as sprinkles, tho taste chocolaty, and the long, skinny ones that *snap* delightfully rather than crunch, and dissolve into chocolate bliss on your tongue along with the ice-cream. I only like the second variety, and only on coffee ice cream, and I haven't seen them available anywhere in years.

When I was a little kid, the Cape Codder sundae was a thing in southern New England - coffee ice-cream and orange sherbet (pronounced "sher-bert", New England is weird), topped with pineapple sauce and jimmies. Yum.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:38 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Unfettered access to toppings is just as fundamental a human right as access to ice cream itself!

"Therefore we must on no account regard ice cream and toppings, serving ice cream and applying toppings, as two separate and isolated things, and on no account must we emphasize the one and play down the other."
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:40 PM on August 31 [11 favorites]


I saw a recipe the other day where chocolate sprinkles were referred to as "chocolate vermicelli" - that was a first for me! Never heard that term before...
posted by Mallenroh at 5:05 PM on August 31


Chocolate brown-only mini-rods of sugar to put on ice cream: Jimmies.
Multi-colored mini-rods of sugar to put on ice cream: Sprinkles.
Multi-colored mini-spheres of sugar to put on ice cream: hundreds and thousands.

Done and dusted.
posted by tzikeh at 5:26 PM on August 31 [7 favorites]


This is odd to me. I've maybe eaten plenty of chocolate sprinkles, and I've definitely seen rainbow sprinkles, but neither of them figure much now in my ice cream eating nor did they figure much in past ice cream eating. Is this an east coast/New England thing? In the south I'm not sure sprinkles are much of a thing.
posted by zardoz at 5:34 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Rainbow sprinkles are horseshit. Plain and simple.
posted by jonathanhughes at 5:39 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Chocolate chip with jimmies. It's been my cone since before I can remember. I've never had a place in New England not have Jimmies.

A couple years ago my kid's teacher told the class that "Jimmies" was racist and to call them sprinkles. I had read the Snopes article and knew that it probably wasn't racist, but there was no way I was gonna tell the teacher or have my kid tell her because I worried I'd be that parent insisting something wasn't actually racist. And, really, I'm fine letting that one slide if it means a bunch of other actually racist things are eliminated from the language.

And so I've come to ask for "chocolate sprinkles" just in case anyone within earshot thinks it's a racist term. I don't want anyone looking at me askance for any reason, even when I'm right and they're wrong.
posted by bondcliff at 5:40 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I don't actually like jimmies or sprinkles on my ice cream. They ruin the texture.
posted by briank at 6:00 PM on August 31 [8 favorites]


When I was a little kid, the Cape Codder sundae was a thing in southern New England - coffee ice-cream and orange sherbet

I can remember going to Massachusetts as a kid and having milk with Autocrat coffee syrup in it--a thing I couldn't get at home. I made coffee jelly the other day and realized that I can use the syrup to MAKE a proper coffee cabinet!

/milkshake derail
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:05 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I don't actually like jimmies or sprinkles on my ice cream. They ruin the texture.

What I love about jimmies is that they add taste and texture like chocolate chips, but I prefer the ratio of chocolate to ice cream that you get with jimmies. The ratio that makes the middle two bars of a Kit-Kat my platonic ideal of a candy bar makes coffee ice cream with jimmies my platonic dairy dessert.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:27 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Rainbow sprinkles are horseshit. Plain and simple.

You mean unicorn shit, surely.
posted by 256 at 6:31 PM on August 31 [9 favorites]


what is the difference, if any, between rainbow sprinkles and the inescapable "funfetti" bullshit i see all over the recipe blogs i follow
posted by poffin boffin at 6:36 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


funfetti enrages me, im sure this surprises no one
posted by poffin boffin at 6:37 PM on August 31 [22 favorites]


I grew up in Eastern Connecticut, but we spent a lot of time at my grandparents' place on Cape Cod when I was a kid. Every so often Grandpa would take us out to the Kool Kone in Wareham, and I remember a couple of instances of confusion where Grandpa would be trying to entice my brother and me with the suggestion that we get "jimmies" on our ice cream, and my brother and me not knowing what the hell he meant; or we kids asking for "sprinkles" and him being similarly confused. So I think the jimmies/sprinkles divide is somewhere around Rhode Island.

I usually got the chocolate kind when I got them because duh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 PM on August 31


jimmies, sprinkles, whatever you call them all taste the same - shortening and sugar. They taste exactly like cheap/bad icing. I get that my kids want them on their ice cream for purely decorative purposes, but that adults want them ? Put some styrofoam shavings on, and you're about the same.
posted by k5.user at 6:42 PM on August 31 [6 favorites]


I have never read anything on the internet more wrong.
posted by bondcliff at 6:44 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I made coffee jelly the other day and realized that I can use the syrup to MAKE a proper coffee cabinet!

Usul no longer needs the Weirding Module.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:55 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Hundreds and thousands! That is the best thing I've learned all day.
posted by thejoshu at 7:06 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Mint chocolate chip with chocolate sprinkles. They still seem easy to find .
posted by Miko at 7:15 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Now that I've RTFA, that stuff about 19th century pharmaceutical manufacturers is truly fascinating.
posted by Miko at 7:18 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


In the UK we call them "Hundreds and Thousands" and although charming this brings its own problems.

You can also power MEDI-BOT with them, as well as eat them...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:40 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I like rainbow sprinkles better than chocolate ones but I think I like the Buffalo wing place better than either! Always fun to come across one's neighborhood in an unexpected context.
posted by ferret branca at 7:45 PM on August 31


Hey, that Buffalo wing/ice cream shop is in my neighborhood! I haven't gone in because I'm kind of sad about the bakery that used to occupy the space. They made the best bread I've ever tasted, this amazing crusty moist sourdough with buckwheat and raisins.
posted by the_blizz at 7:51 PM on August 31


I can remember going to Massachusetts as a kid and having milk with Autocrat coffee syrup in it--a thing I couldn't get at home.

Although you can find Autocrat syrup in pretty much any Mass. supermarket (just a swallow will tell you), coffee milk is really a Rhode Island thing (along with Del's Lemonade, clam cakes, New York System hot dogs and that weird red clam chowder).
posted by adamg at 7:56 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


Stella, a fellow sprinkles fan who often makes her own at home [...]

It's Serious Eats, of course she does. And I expect she'll write it up into a two-part illustrated article showing how you, too, can use a rotary evaporator and a sous vidé machine to make sprinkles that are indistinguishable from the commercially-produced ones you remember from your childhood.

And then in the comments someone will mention that you can still buy them you know and they will be treated like someone who knows where to buy buggy-whips or plague-doctor masks, as if it's a comically obscure fact rather than something that undermines the whole point of the article.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:28 PM on August 31 [14 favorites]


The Snark is strong with this one.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:57 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Rhode Islanders rejoice, coffee milk is highly available in Sydney. As in every supermarket and gas station. Now, I have not done a taste comparison between the brands so do not know whether it is the platonic ideal. I see funfetti sprinkles but will report back the chocolate situation after I goto Woolies today.
posted by jadepearl at 9:20 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Okay but seriously, which colors are the "hundreds," and which are the "thousands," and can I ask for only one but not the other?
posted by explosion at 9:31 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


And then in the comments someone will mention that you can still buy them you know and they will be treated like someone who knows where to buy buggy-whips or plague-doctor masks, as if it's a comically obscure fact rather than something that undermines the whole point of the article.

Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say "Ni" at will to old ladies can't shit up comment threads on seriouseats with blowback. There is a pestilence upon this land!
posted by Carillon at 10:13 PM on August 31


Funfetti is in fact slightly different-- funfetti is the multicolored sugar things which are flat and round, not a lozenge/tube shape as in the true sprinkle, nor a sphere as in hundreds and thousands. The ones which look as though they have been produced by running a hole-puncher over a sheet of Sprinkle Material and packaging the holes.

The name is because the shape makes it look like confetti, see.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 10:17 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


The "fun," however, is debatable.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:21 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


CTRL-F "Fairy Bread".

:-(
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:18 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Reporting back, chocolate sprinkles found in the baking aisle of Woolworth and known as chocolettes. They are thinner than American chocolate jimmies/sprinkles and Dutch De Ruyter sprinkles.
posted by jadepearl at 12:06 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Ok, I probably told this story on a previous sprinkle thread, but it's cute. I grew up in MA. I knew a small child who had an older brother named, Jimmy. Perhaps you see where this is going? The small child once burst into tears when the clerk asked if she wanted jimmies. "I WANT MY OWN!"

I can't blame her. I wouldn't want to share ice cream, either.
posted by greermahoney at 12:33 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Hundreds and thousands are fine but when turned into a million little pieces you know things are real bad.
posted by waving at 6:04 AM on September 1


The sprinkle is a lie.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:23 AM on September 1


Omg yes De Ruijter hagelsag is pure dark or milk chocolate and is amazing. It doesn't leave that gross shortening film in your mouth and it makes everything delicious. Ignore that this is meant to be put on buttered bread and go nuts with it on ice cream. But then put it on buttered bread too.

Bed Bath & Beyond's World Market frequently has it if you can't wait for Amazon. Just clean them out. Trust us.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:31 AM on September 1


I don't think I've ever had a good sprinkle. Clearly, this is something I need to consider rectifying.

Of course, knowing me, I can never do things without going overboard, so I suppose I'm about to launch on the Season of the Sprinkle. I wonder if they'd be good in pie?
posted by PearlRose at 7:52 AM on September 1


Herrell's in Massachusetts has awesome real chocolate sprinkles.
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:55 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


SILVER DRAGEES OR NOTHING!!

(I'm in California. I get nothing. Send halp!)
posted by Space Kitty at 8:31 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]




SILVER DRAGEES OR NOTHING!!

Obvious plot by the dental cabal.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:04 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


I was in NYC last spring, with my daughter, and saw ice cream coated in sprinkles for the first time. I'm sure I've seen sundaes with a few sprinkles on them, but this really is different. I'm intrigued that this is apparently a regional thing that lots of you grew up with, instead of something new. (It never would have occurred to me that adding sprinkles to a cone would completely hide the ice cream. That's a lot of sprinkles.)

Also recently learned the term hundreds and thousands while reading The Vicarage Family-- had to look it up for one chapter to make sense.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:10 AM on September 1


It's Serious Eats, of course she does. And I expect she'll write it up into a two-part illustrated article showing how you, too, can use a rotary evaporator and a sous vidé machine to make sprinkles

The BraveTart book does in fact (I just checked) have a recipe for making your own chocolate sprinkles and it doesn't use any fancy equipment and takes up less than a page.
posted by casarkos at 10:55 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Mini chocolate chips, applied like sprinkles, are a delightful substitute.
posted by misskaz at 1:12 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Mini chocolate chips, applied like sprinkles, are a delightful substitute.

No. I also hate them in cannoli. Waxy hard bit of something you need to pry from your molars with a toothpick after a perfectly crisp shell bathed in nice dark chocolate and a suitable amount of cocoa, not too sweet, in the ricotta and cream filling. Keep your damn mini-chips.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:55 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


My new favorite sandwich is peanut butter and mini chocolate chips.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:52 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


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