Ice Creams Regardless of your country of birth, one of your sweetest childhood memories will be most likely linked to Ice Cream! Worldwide, ice cream has become a cult frozen treat, an integral part of summer for everyone regardless of their age. But does the world of ice creams begin and end with the churned version? The answer is a big, fat NO!
Depending on the country you live in or visit, you will find that there is more to this frozen dessert than creamy scoops. From stretchable Turkish Dondurma to stuffed Japanese Mochi, ice cream means different things to different cultures.
The saga of ice cream began when ancient civilisations used frozen water or snow to create ice treats. The ancient Greeks and Romans mixed snow with fruits and honey, while ancient Chinese enjoyed frozen milk and rice treat flavoured with camphor. The Persians went one step further and built ice houses to create frozen treats with vermicelli, rose water, fruits and aromatics.
Japan – Mochi
This is a dessert fusion of East and West, where Japanese Mochi meets American ice cream. Pastel-coloured balls of ground sticky rice are filled with different flavours of ice creams ranging from green tea to red bean. If you love unique ingredients and a no-mess ice cream, you’ve found your match!
Alaska – Akutaq
This frozen dessert, also called Eskimo ice cream, is made with wild berries, animal fat, and sugar. Originating in Alsaka, Akutaq now comes in numerous berry versions made with lard and whipped cream, including crowberry, cloudberry and salmonberry.
Ecuador – Helado de Paila
Kettle ice cream is a hand-churned ice cream originally created by indigenous tribes in Ibarra. They combined snow with cane sugar and fruit juices in bronze pans. Helado de Paila is still hand-churned in urban ice cream parlours but in copper kettles.
Germany – Spaghetti-eis
Be specific when you order spaghetti in Germany or you may end up with ice cream for lunch or dinner. Spaghetti-eis, is a novelty concoction popular in Germany from the 1960s. Vanilla ice cream is pushed through a potato masher or ricer with holes. The rice-like pieces are then topped with strawberry sauce, grated almond, and coconut flakes or grated white chocolate.
India – Kulfi
Kulfi is a frozen milk dessert with a creamy, chewy and custard-like texture. Milk is sweetened with sugar, condensed to a thick liquid, flavoured with spices and nuts, and traditionally set in earthen pots filled with ice and salt. Classic flavours include pistachio-almond, saffron, mango and cardamom. Kulfi is served as a log, on a stick like a popsicle, or as sliced pieces.
Taiwan – Snowflake Ice
While Taiwan is famous for shaved ice desserts, this one takes the cake. The ice in this dessert is frozen milk converted into flowing ribbons. With its airy and delicate texture, Snowflake Ice resembles regular ice cream. Top your shaved milk ice with fruits, condensed milk, sweet sauces, sesame, peanut or red beans for a delectable taste.
England – Clotted Cream
If you’re keen on tasting ice cream made with clotted cream, head to Cornwall in England. High-fat cow’s milk is heated in a water bath or steam and then cooled to allow cream to rise to the top. This cream is used to make ice cream and gives this frozen delicacy a deliciously rich texture.
Israel – Halva Ice Cream
Is the Mediterranean sun a bit too much for you? Beat the heat when you’re in the holy Land with some delectable Halva ice cream. Halva, not to be confused with Indian halwa, is a sweet candy made with mashed sesame seeds, eggs and cream in a date-sugar syrup.
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Mexico – Paleta
These bright coloured ice pops come in juice-based and milk-based versions. You’ll find luscious ice creams with unique pairings like chilli-mango and soursop or odd flavours like tequila ice. An original paleta has chunks of fruit embedded in ice cream.