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It's Foodie Friday! Ice Cream Anyone?

Friday, March 26, 2010
From the moment I saw Althea Chang's post on Facebook a week or so ago (about eating Japanese sesame ice cream), I've been thinking about and researching ice creams from around the world.  But before I tell you what I learned, let me make it clear that I lovvvve frozen delights!  Hawaiian shaved ice, Foster's Freeze softserve, rootbeer popsicles, Pinkberry's frozen yogurt, and French vanilla ice cream on apple pie are my absolute favorites.  (And it doesn't even have to be summertime!)  So as you can imagine, this research project was quite a treat...
So here's a smidgen of what I've gathered:

Dondurma is the name for ice cream in Turkey.  Wiki says that it is resistant to melting and its texture is tougher and chewier than the ice cream we might be accustomed to eating due to the addition of two thickening agents: salep, a flour made from the root of the Early Purple Orchid, and mastic, a resin.  It's sold from carts (see photo to the left) as street food, where the mixture is churned regularly with long-handled paddles to keep it workable.  I'm not sure I want to chew on any ice cream; but I would definitely try it.

Kulfi is an Indian and West Asian ice cream dessert. It comes in many flavors (most traditional is saffron flavored) and is often molded into conical shapes and served in a bowl (see picture at right) or like a popsicle, with a stick. All of the articles I read say that it's relatively easy to make. Unlike Western-style ice creams, kulfi does not need to be churned in an ice-cream maker. Instead, the liquid components are often boiled like a custard before freezing or simply frozen solid. As such, it is much more dense than regular ice-cream, as churning adds air into milk mixtures. It is normally classified as a frozen custard instead of an ice cream.  [Source:]

Gelato (pictured  left), as you probably know, is Italy's version of ice cream, but with 3 major differences.  First, gelato has significantly less butterfat than ice cream's typical 18 and 26 percent.  Second, gelato has a much higher density than ice cream.  That means that no air is added to gelato like it is added to ice cream (to double the quantity) which makes it a higher quality dessert with a richer, creamier taste.  And third, although both ice cream and gelato are served well below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit),gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream, about 10 to 15 degrees warmer, which means that the taste is supposed to be further enhanced as it melts in the mouth.  Yummm. [Source:] 

Sorbetes is a Filipino version of ice cream usually peddled from street carts (by sorbeteros; pictured right) in the Philippines and served with small wafer or sugar cones and recently, bread buns. They are also served with sticks as a pre-packaged frozen treat.  Although the name is similar to sorbet (a frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with iced fruit (typically juice or puree), chocolate, wine, and/or liqueur), it is distinctly different because sorbetes originally used the milk of the carabao, a kind of water buffalo, (instead of a cow) although both kinds of milk are widely used today. It is also interesting to note that coconut milk and cassava flour are two other ingredients used that make sorbetes unique from ice cream made in other countries.

FanMilk Limited, the number one ice cream company in Ghana, has two product categories in its repertoire:  A wide range of milk-based ice cream and yoghurt products and fruit based frozen products called iced lollies.  Just like Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors' long term popularity in the United States, the name FanMilk has become a household name in Ghana, and is a common sight to see FanMilk ice cream carts and bicycles on beaches and the streets (see photo to the left).

Truth be told, I learned more about the world's ice creams than I ever imagined.  I learned that an Eisdiele means ice cream parlor in German and that Helado (which means ice cream in Spanish) is an ice cream company in Venezuela.  I learned about sweet corn ice cream, olive oil ice cream (gag!) and even found a wild blog that boasts the most frightening ice cream flavors in the world!  All in all, it was pretty doggone cool (pun intended) to check out the world's frozen delights!  I better go.  I think I hear the ice cream man... 
P.S.  Here's a little ice cream trivia.  Without peeping at the link, what countries do you think are the Top Ten in Ice Cream Consumption?


Talking with Tami on: March 27, 2010 at 7:37 PM said...

I had some gelato for the first time pretty good!


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