World’s Largest Sundae

By Cary Castagna, Edmonton Sun, September 16, 2007

THEIR CLAIM TO FAME

largestsundaeSurprising number of Albertans have earned a place in the Guiness World Records

It’s a recipe for one enormous ice cream sundae – and a hugely debilitating dose of brain freeze.

Take two 45-foot semi-trailers filled with 350-pound slabs of ice cream in 63 flavours. Add a five-tonne truck filled with 45-gallon drums of six mouth-watering sundae toppings-chocolate, fudge, pineapple, caramel, strawberry and butterscotch. Using two forklifts and four electric power jacks, toss the ice cream and topping into an empty swimming pool temporarily set up in the middle of the main floor of Edmonton City Centre Mall. Top it off with whipped cream, and sprinkle copious amounts of crushed peanuts and maraschino cherries. Serve Cold.

That’s exactly What Edmontonian Mike Rogiani and about two dozen friends and relatives did Sunday, July 24, 1988, to set a Guiness world record for the largest ice cream sundae – ever.

The colossal cool treat enclosed by the planet’s biggest sneeze guard – officially weighed in at 24.91 tonnes (54,917 pounds).

“I always wanted to get my name in the book,” said Rogiani, Alberta’s undisputed ice cream king. “It is my little claim to the fame. We’re all entitled to 15 minutes. This was mine.”

Although it took months and months of work and planning, his group assembled the gigantic frozen dessert with about $7,000 worth of ingredients – in about four hours at the mall, said Rogiani, a special events manager with Palm Dairies Ltd. at the time. “It was a fine-tuned military operation,” recalled the longtime owner of Royal Treats, and Edmonton-based ice-cream distributor. “It took me a whole year of work to do it. It was brutal. I’d never do it again. It was crazy.” Nevertheless 19 years later, the record still stands.

Rogiani, 46, figures his name will remain in the record books forever. That’s because Guinness no longer accepts attempts on historic food records due to the massive amount of wastage potentially involved, he said.

Only about half of the record-setting sundae ended up going to waste from what Rogiani remembers. The other half was sold for charity to the thousands in attendance on that mostly cloudy July afternoon nearly two decades ago when the mercury hit 24C.

Rogiani said he and his volunteers dished out about 5,000 two-litre pails at $1 a pop, with proceeds earn marked for the children’s ward at Grey Nuns Hospital.

Cleanup afterwards took about eight hours, and that was with steam wands and a sewage suction truck. “It was a mess,” Rogiani said.

The ice-cream man isn’t the only proud Albertan with a Guiness world Record.

A close look at the Guinness World Records’ database reveals there are more than a few current records that have been set in Alberta, according to Kate White, a Guinness official in London, England. Seems Albertans are competitive bunch. Here’s a look at some of the province’s other current record holders.

LONGEST CHURRO

Edmontonian Luis Caro and his family cooked up the world’s largest churro as part of the Heritage Days Festival on Aug 6, 2000 the sweet Spanish pastry – made from an ancient family secret brought from Spain to Chile by Caro’s grandmother and later passed on to Caro – measured 77 metres (252.62 feet) in length and 30 kg (66.13 pounds) in weight.

LONGEST INDOOR HOCKEY MARATHON

A group of 20 Winston Churchill High School students and graduates, and friends of organizer Brady Hway, took part in 26-hour floor hockey game April 10-11, 2007, in the Lethbridge school’s gym. The non-stop game, a graduation fundraised, netted $3,000.

FASTEST REVERSE DRIVE OVER 500 MILES

Rob Gibney earned his spot in history by driving backwards around a racetrack on Aug. 22, 2004. Gibney, 41 at the time, covered 807.49 km (501.69 miles) at an average speed of 66.67 kmh (41.42 mph) in a stock 2003 Ford Crown Victoria at Calgary’s Race City Motor Sports Park. En route to the record, he completed 1,221 laps of the track’s half-mile oval in 12 hours, nine minutes and 40 seconds in what was dubbed the Backwards 500.

MOST PUSHUPS (USING BACKS OF HANDS) IN ONE HOUR

Drop and give me 1,781? Alberta’s push-up king, Doug Pruden, racked up 1,781 push-ups in one hour – on the backs of his hands – July 8, 2005 at Body Quest Health Club. “I’m exhilarated over this whole thing, but it was a long, tiring wait to get here,” said an exhausted Pruden after 60 minutes were up.

MOST PUSHUPS (ONE ARM, USING BACK OF HAND) IN ONE HOUR

On Nov. 9, 2005, Pruden was at it again, He completed 677 one-arm push-ups on the back of his hand in one hour at Body Quest Health Club for another pec-popping record.