Best Homegrown Dessert

The Popsicle

Just when you thought popsicles couldn’t get any more awesome, it turns out they were invented right here in our own backyard. Though the specifics of the story vary, the gist is this: In 1905, an eleven-year-old Oaklander named Frank Epperson accidentally left a stirrer in a cup of soda overnight. The temperature dropped to record lows that night. Epperson, who died in 1983, awoke to find what he would christen the “epsicle,” and, later, the popsicle. He sold the first one at an Alameda amusement park in 1923, and the rest, as they say, is history. The popsicle — and its cousins, the creamsicle and the fudgesicle, also invented by Epperson — are now sold by the millions each year, and there are now no fewer than three different holidays honoring the frozen treats. A claim to fame for Oakland if there ever was one.

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