We Attempt to Eat the World's Largest Terrapin Sundae at Margie's Candies

Sugar Rush

Reviews of desserts in Chicago.


[Photographs: Debbie Carlos]

With National Ice Cream Month slowly winding down, it seemed like we needed one last crazy way to celebrate. And what better way to do so than to try to eat one ludicrously enormous sundae? We have our very own sweets expert, Lindsey Becker, to thank for this one, as she emailed me last week to point out that it would be "fun" to try and eat the World's Largest Terrapin Sundae at Margie's Candies. With four other people, I challenged the group to finish the entire bowl, promising to buy a round if the feat was completed.

Margie's Candies‎

If you didn't already know, the Bucktown spot is one of the most beloved dessert places in the city, famous for serving up overloaded desserts in a classic old school parlor atmosphere. Most of the items are simply ridiculously big, but the World's Largest Terrapin Sundae is genuinely out of control.

Here's the rundown:

  • 15 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 2 gravy boats of hot fudge
  • 2 gravy boats of caramel sauce
  • 6 wafers
  • 5 cherries
  • whipped cream
  • nuts

Now, if the combination of ingredients sounds an awful lot like a turtle sundae, you're right. A terrapin is a kind of turtle, so the owners obviously just got creative with the name. Right? Well, this would all make more sense if Margie's didn't also have a turtle sundae on the menu, which, while smaller, has pretty much the exact same ingredients. Also, I couldn't find a single other example of a terrapin sundae anywhere, so it could have been two scoops and it would still technically be the "world's largest" by default.

As you can tell, nothing here makes much sense. In fact, as we found out, the terrapin isn't even the largest sundae available at Margie's. Looking at the menu, you'd be forgiven for thinking that something called the World's Largest Sundae would best it, but this item oddly only uses a half gallon of ice cream (an amount I'm pretty sure I could knock out after dinner any night). No, the real honor goes to the Royal George, a 25 scoop monster served in a metal punch bowl. Though the thought of attempting this briefly went through my mind, I realized that it would probably kill us.

Let the Eating Begin!

Back to the terrapin. When it arrived, I quickly realized that this was something of a death march, and that finishing this thing would likely make all of us sick. The bowl took up half the table, and each of the 15 scoops were massive. But we aren't ones to back down from a challenge, so we grabbed our spoons and dug in.

We didn't even come close, leaving nearly half of the ice cream sitting in the bowl. I'm no stranger to eating a lot of food, but I didn't quite realize how difficult it would be to eat so much dairy. So while we didn't end up achieving our goal, I'm proud of the amount we were able to finish.

What do you think of enormous sundaes, or, for that matter, Margie's Candies? Leave a comment, and let me know. Otherwise, check out the whole process by clicking through the slideshow.

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