A sweet little article to discover the flavours and consumption habits of the world’s most craved dessert.
Think of ice cream as a simple dessert? Well, think again. This frozen delicacy, over the years, has cleared itself through customs from its traditional connotation and debuted in the kitchens of Michelin starred chefs’ menus and gourmet restaurants all around the world.
In a bold attempt to debunk our very Italian belief that ice cream is exclusively a matter of Italians, we have discovered and listed for you seven unordinary curiosities about ice cream.
Fasten your seatbelt, we're taking you on a "SEVEN ICE CREAMS' WORLD TOUR!"
Dated back in the 16th Century and often referred to as the “traditional Indian ice cream”, Kulfi is a dessert made from frozen milk.
It's similar to ice cream in taste and appearance but more dense and creamy; unlike ice cream, kulfi is not whipped, and it results in a solid and dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard-based ice cream.
Due to its consistency, kulfi takes longer to melt compared to "western ice creams". This particular feature makes it easier to serve in a restaurant.
The most traditional flavours are malai (cream), rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and pistachio, although, in recent years, some variations have become popular: orange, strawberry, apple, peanuts and avocado.
First appeared during the Ottoman Empire, the Dondurma’s recipe is still widespread across Turkey today. Made of sugar, whipped cream, salep cream – a particular type of flour – and mastic (yes, you got it right, mastic!).
Certainly one of the most peculiar ice creams in the world, really pasty, with a dense and naturally "stringy" consistency.
If you are visiting Turkey, don't miss the opportunity to witness its preparation, the kneading and of course the chance to taste it.
Singapore: the ice cream sandwich
As one of the best examples of successful melting pots, Singapore has distinguished itself from other frenetic cities thanks to its ability to absorb and learn from the incoming cultures. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most popular street foods is actually the ice cream sandwich.
Two slices of soft bread, or wafer, contain literally a slice of ice cream, available in the most classic flavours including vanilla, strawberry, banana and chocolate.
Japan: Mochi and Honey Toast
Let's face it, Japan is so rich in gastronomic curiosities that limiting our choice of ice cream varieties to just one, wasn't doable.
If you are not too sensitive to the texture of the mochi, then it is most likely that you will love them.
Invented, prepared and served all over the Land of the Rising Sun, at a first glance you could confuse these small scoops of ice cream with the French macarons. The ice cream is shaped in small circles and wrapped in rice paste to prevent it from melting.
Absolutely worth a try!
Also known as Toast Shibuya, Toast Brick and Hanito is a Japanese dessert that originated precisely in the Shibuya district.
The main component is bread, preferably "pain de mie" (French loaf bread), which it has to be dug and cut into cubes.
The outer crust and the cubes are caramelized in the oven with butter and honey and then filled with anything you'd like (fruit, nuts, syrups or whipped cream). In the end, it is accompanied or topped with ice cream.
A joy for the eyes and a delight for the palate!
Thailand: Thai rolled ice cream
A beautiful and colourful land, popular for its uncontaminated beaches and natural escapes, Thailand is also famous for its humid and warm climate that remains constant almost all year round.
If you happen to be in Thailand, don’t miss the opportunity to cool down by trying the curious "rolled ice creams" (better known as I Tim Pad).
One of the most popular street foods, it’s easy to eat on the go, and prepared with a particular technique: the ice cream makers do not whip the ice cream, but freeze it very quickly to create a thin frozen disk that they scrape into small ice cream rolls and then garnish it with fruit and various flavours of syrup.
New Zeland: Hokey Pokey Ice cream
A typical New Zealand ice cream is the Hokey Pokey.
It basically consists of a simple vanilla ice cream mixed with crumbled honeycomb toffee flakes: a sort of crunchy biscuit, literally translatable as "honeycomb caramel", which is usually crumbled on cream and ice cream to add a pleasant crunchy note.
The outcome is a creamy and rich ice cream, popular in all the islands of the north and south of New Zealand.