That question started in the comments to our June 20 entry and we thought we’d continue the debate here. We also added a new poll (at right). Do you eat ice cream straight out of the box? Go ahead, be honest.
So what IS the difference between sprinkles and jimmies? Actually they’re the same thing, it just depends on where you’re from. If you’re a resident of Philadelphia, Boston and many parts of New England, you might ask for jimmies if you want those tiny cylindrical candies on your ice cream. New Yorkers and a majority of other people call them sprinkles.
So where does the jimmies name come from? Popular legend has it that the Just Born candy company in Bethlehem, PA began producing sprinkles in the 1930s and, since a gentleman named Jimmy ran the sprinkles machine, the product was naturally nicknamed after its maker.
Some people maintain that sprinkles are multicolored and jimmies specifically refer to the chocolate variety. But no matter what you call them or how you use them, they seem to make everything taste a little better. Here in Lancaster County, we call them sprinkles, but we’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the great sprinkles vs. jimmies debate!