A banana split is an ice cream-based dessert. In its traditional form it is served in a long dish called a boat. A banana is cut in half lengthwise (hence the name) and laid in the dish. There are many variations, but the classic banana split is made with three scoops of ice cream (one each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ) served between the split banana. A sauce or sauces (chocolate, strawberry, and caramel are traditional) are drizzled onto the ice cream, then crushed nuts (generally peanuts or walnuts is optional. ) and whipped cream (optional) , then topped with a maraschino cherry.