Today in 1664, a Dutch governor surrendered an area of North America known as New Amsterdam to the English navy, who renamed it in honor of the Duke of York.

If we went through all of what makes New York City what it is today, we’d be here for a lot of New York minutes.

So today, we’ll just talk about one of those NYC classics, the one known as the egg cream.

I learned all of this from Untapped New York, which I think has forgotten more about egg creams than I’ll ever know.

They reported that the the drink has its roots in a candy shop on the city’s Lower East Side.

In 1890, the shop’s owner, Louis Auster, put milk and seltzer together with his own special chocolate syrup.

It was hugely popular among his clientele, largely Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, because it was inexpensive but still tasted super fancy.

Soon after, soda fountains all over the city were selling their own versions of egg creams to their customers.

Now, you may have noticed the ingredient list for egg creams includes neither egg nor cream.

There are a few theories about how the name came about.

One is that it’s a near-French pronounciation, an adaptation of “chocolate et creme.”

Another theory says a fan of the drink referred to it using the Yiddish phrase “echt keem,” but someone misheard it and thought they said “egg cream.”

Whatever the story, that phrase describes the egg cream pretty well for its many fans.

“Echt keem” in English means “pure sweetness.”

The US Postal Service has an interesting new set of stamps.

It’s called “Life Magnified,” and it features close-ups of really, really tiny stuff, from our red blood cells to the neurons in mouse brains.

Definitely something to write home about.

The Origins of NYC’s Famous Egg Cream and Where to Find One (Untapped New York)

A New USPS Collection Enlarges the World’s Tiniest Lifeforms to the Size of a Postage Stamp (Colossal)

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Photo by David Berkowitz via Flickr/Creative Commons