A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 05, 2015
Dusty Miller (chocolate sundae with malted milk)

A “Dusty Miller” sundae is chocolate ice cream (or vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, or coffee ice cream) sprinkled with powdered malted milk. A Dusty Miller sundae was served in Elmira (NY) in 1911 and in Niagara Falls (NY) in 1916.

According to a 1987 citation (below), “The term derives from a moth of the same name whose speckled wings resemble that topping.”


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
14 April 1911, Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, pg. 13 ad:
THE CHOCOLATE SHOP
(...)
Here is a new one in our ice cream department: A dusty miller and bridge whist Sundaes,

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
23 May 1916, Niagara Falls (NY) Gazette, pg. 5, col. 3 ad:
Fountain Specials
Dusty Miller Sundae...10c
(Miller-Strong Drug Co.—ed.)

29 March 1920, Lock Haven (PA) Express, pg. 3, col. 1 ad:
Specials.
Fudge Nut Sundaes
Butter Scotch Fudge
Nut Temptation
Dusty Miller
(The Fredericks Pharmacy.—ed.)

Google Books
JSTOR
February 1936, American Speech, “Linguistic Concoctions of the Soda Jerker” by Harold W. Bentley, pg. 43:
DUSTY MILLER. Chocolate sundae with malted milk.

Google News Archive
26 October 1945, Mt. Adams Sun (Bingen, WA), “Gay Gadgets” by Nancy Pepper, pg. 7, col. 3:
Dusty Miller— Chocolate marshmallow sundae with malt sprinkled on the top.

Google News Archive
27 July 1952, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Sundae Every Day” by Dorothy Dean, pg. 10, col. 3:
But have you tried a “Dusty Miller” made by spooning dry chocolate malted milk powder over your ice cream?

19 December 1968, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, pg. 13, col. 2:
“DUSTY Miller”: Sprinkle malted milk powder on servings of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

4 August 1986, The Morning Union (Springfield, MA), “Coolidge celebration draws hundreds to ‘Hamp” by Anne McCrory, pg. 10W, col. 4:
Among the offerings at the Ice Cream Social which kicked off the week-long celebration was the “Dusty Miller,” a concoction of coffee ice cream, butterscotch sauce and powdered malted milk.

Google News Archive
23 April 1987, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), “Cook’s primer,” pg. 8E, col. 3:
Dusty miller: A sundae made with powdered malted-milk topping. The term derives from a moth of the same name whose speckled wings resemble that topping. The sundae dates to the ‘20s.

Twitter
matthew
‏@iMatthew_
@bettina27 Dusty Miller sounds more like Minor League shortstop than hotfudge sundae w/ malt powder ("Batting 5th 4 the Mud Hens, Dusty...")
4:40 PM - 18 May 2009

Google Books
Hash House Lingo:
The Slang of Soda Jerks, Short-Order Cooks, Bartenders, Waitresses, Carhops and Other Denizens of Yesterday’s Roadside

By Jack Smiley
Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.
2012 (Originally published in 1941)
Pg. 54:
Dusty Miller—chocolate sundae.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, September 05, 2015 • Permalink