Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Big Debate: Sprinkles vs Jimmies

We had a question today that we were stumped by.... What makes the distinction between sprinkles and jimmies on an ice cream?
The answer is regional....
Sprinkles are the colorful candy rods your typical "rainbow" sprinkles.
Jimmies are the chocolate version of sprinkles. In most cases, the chocolate flavor is artificial - if non-existant. (But, King Arthur Flour makes real chocolate jimmies).

It seems that the term "jimmies" is regional, meaning that if you are in New England, and you want chocolate sprinkles on your ice cream, you ask for jimmies....
If you are in the West USA and you want rainbow sprinkles, you ask for "ants".
If you are in the UK and want rainbow sprinkles, you ask for "hundreds and thousands".
If you are in France, you ask for "non-pareils".

Sprinkles originated as non-pareils in France (tiny colored balls) and date back to the late 1700's!
The process of making sprinkles, (rod shaped candy) was made in 1936.

Sprinkles are used as a confectionary topping for ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, donuts, puddings and cookies.
In Europe, slices of bread are buttered and then sprinkles are added.
Cakes are made with sprinkles mixed into the batter and Pillsbury ran with this idea and created "confetti cake mix".
But this way is just about the most delicious way to enjoy sprinkles!


Laurie said...

I worked in an ice cream place for a few summers and we called them 'sprinkles'. Today my kids were asked, "Do you want Jimmies?, rainbow or chocolate?". So apparently some people refer to the rainbow ones as jimmies also.

Elizabeth Landry's Creations said...

Growing up on Long Island we called them sprinkles not matter the color. Living in NH I call them jimmies no matter the color but with an influx of people moving from different states to NH the term sprinkles is also used. - Elizabeth