On December 10, this year's Nobel Prize winners will gather with royalty and dignitaries at City Hall in Stockholm for the Nobel banquet. Some think the highlight of the evening is the awarding of the prizes, but those who know say it's really the dessert parade, a grand entrance featuring a light show of sparklers as an army of servers bring in the dessert.
Nobel banquets have been held since 1901, and each year, the menu is exquisite. That’s to be expected: Some of the world’s most lauded people, not to mention Swedish royalty and dignitaries, are in attendance. In the first few years, the food was mostly French-style, the cuisine of the elite. Only later in the century did Swedish dishes and ingredients take center stage, with filet of sole being replaced by filet of reindeer. But until recently, there was one constant: For dessert, dozens of waiters descended the grand staircase with trays of Nobel ice cream and sparklers, a fitting accompaniment to the Nobel Prize’s explosive origins.
Things change, and even the ice cream is optional these days. However the dessert parade will continue, upstaging the scientists and peacemakers once again. Read about the Nobel banquet and its ice cream parades at Atlas Obscura.