The Nobel banquet (Nobelfesten) is held annually on December 10 at Stockholm’s City Hall. It is surely the most prestigious dinner party in the world, with toasts, speeches, entertainment, and three courses of food delivered with much fanfare to Swedish royalty and Nobel laureates. Both the 2020 and 2021 Nobel banquets were postponed due to COVID-19, and we hope that the Nobel Prize winners who missed out will be invited to future banquets.
A tradition began with the first Nobel banquet in 1901 of serving ice cream as the third course. Over time, the presentation of the dessert accompanied by sparklers became a tradition. Distinguished scientists from all over the world fondly recall the thrill of being served glace Nobel. In 1999, the ice cream tradition came to an end when the Nobel committee decided to let chefs expand the dessert menu. However, the dessert course is still presented by a parade of servers under the light of sparklers. More than 20 years later, ice cream is still associated with the Nobel Prizes, and Stockholm restaurants, including one in the basement of City Hall, serve glace Nobel.
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But if you can’t get to Stockholm, Atlas Obscura has a recipe so that you can make a version of Nobel ice cream in your own home.