Ice creams are meant to be indulged in. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a sore throat undoing your desires or the weather not exactly playing up to the mood for a definite awareness of coolness to washeth over your being- one simply does not entertain any excuse that might come in the way of furthering the absolute universal love affair that ice creams spell for all not caring for any barrier whatsoever.
So profound has been the craze for ice cream ever since it dawned upon the world in all tremendous appeal brought about by a graciousness one can only feel warmly ensconced in that countries and nations and cultures and chefs and cooks and virtually every single entity have done their best to eke newer, refreshing, cooler and tastier versions of it whether in traditional mixing or through contemporary measuring of recipes and ingredients such that there exist today an entire catalogue of ice cream varieties one would go on discovering with surprise.
Here’s attempting to decipher how traditional tastes in ice cream the world over would fare for a soul satisfying dip in the definite depths of ultimate coolness-
Of course one would be more than likely to interpret the sorbetes as being perhaps some sort of an extension of the sorbet. But in reality these two distinct types of ice cream in their own right could not be any more different from each other than what they already are. A Philippine specialty and one that is rendered different in its characterising use of coconut milk or carabao milk, the sorbetes is still as milky and creamy a variant of ice cream that does not need to be exclusively fruity in their flavor unlike sorbets. Also definitely distinguished in its use of cassava flour as an ingredient, it also is served either upon cones or sandwiched between breads and/ or cookies for a truly fun, enticing treat usually available in many different colors and flavors.
Sorbetes though isn’t just any other ice cream that one would expect to grab out of trucks and relish in all commercialness of them. Known also rather amusingly as dirty ice cream, this cultural almost phenomenon of the Philippine identity are peddled by sorbeteros from traditionally painted colorful carts serving in that manner not just a cone of ice cream but also a charm representative of the very way of life in the country itself. The reason why it is called dirty ice cream though is also because of this mode of selling that probably exposes the treat to pollutants and dust and stuff for all one might be inclined to believe.
An ice cream from Turkey and one that facilitates the popular ploy of the Turkish ice cream vendors endlessly extending their act in world famous deception, the dondurma is one of the most traditional and at the same time most unique varieties of ice cream in existence. Dense and chewy in its texture and surprisingly stubborn in its resistance to occurring as the dripping and melting mess that ice creams most naturally are, the dondurma comes to rest in such wayward distinction owing to its primary ingredients of mastic and salep.
Stretchy and chewy and sticky due to this combination of the resin with the tuber flour, the dondurma though is still a global favorite despite so much of its local elements. Even enjoying this fun treat makes use of such apparatus of a knife and a fork generally not of much prominence in the licking and slurping etiquette of the ice cream world.
Spaghetti ice cream is what spaghettieis most definitely and very evidently is. But spaghetti isn’t what sums up the flavour of this German variant of ice cream that is only made to resemble the classic length and thinness of the Italian staple of the pasta. The ‘noodles’ are shaped out of vanilla ice cream, over which is served some strawberry sauce and some essentially white toppings in the form of coconut flakes or grated white chocolate or almonds perhaps so as to mimic exactly every component of what a typical spaghetti bowl would comprise.
Of course not much exists to be reiterated in waxing eloquent over the taste of what is a classic anyway combination of vanilla and strawberry with variations also allowing for chocolatey tastes to be worked in. It is more a case in plating and presentation and of course the thought that went behind evoking the curiously versatile capabilities of the culinary that is what makes this ice cream a delight much like any other imagining up of the icy and creamy euphoria.
The traditional Indian ice cream and one that is lusciously rich and thick a concoction of dessert, kulfi is as unique as can be in the essence of it. A delight in both its preparation as well as in taste, made as it is by reducing sweetened milk that is then frozen in distinctive looking molds, kulfi is a 16th century invention hailing from the distinguished gastronomic annals of the Mughal empire.
Not whipped like ice creams otherwise are and denser as well as creamier in its texture that makes it melt considerably slower as well, this cool and sweet dessert in itself is most often flavoured with pistachios and saffron and cardamom though a range of other ingredients also are commonly used. With a definite caramel tone obtained from the lengthy cooking of sugared milk, this very royal tasting serving of creaminess is one that for sure only further enriches the already irresistible options of the ice cream world.
Rolled ice cream
Immensely popular today in their different mode of serving as somewhat striking compared to the typical ice cream aesthetic in dripping cones or upon melting sticks are rolled ice creams that emerge as rolls of what indeed is ice cream after all. But while this might manifest as a distinct style in serving ice cream, it still owes its ‘traditional’ taking to the spotlight by virtue of its emergence in a specific place. Attributable to a Thailand of the 2000s, most certainly originating in 2009 is this rolled or stir fried ice cream or more commonly called ice cream roll that however identifies also as a more quirky assertion of an I-Tim-Pad. Ubiquitous all over currently as a very fancy way of relishing one’s fix of sweet coolness, the technique and manner of preparing these ice cream rolls also manifests as a visual delight as well.
A Japanese version of the shaved ice form of this global treat, kakigori though still differs from this specific catergorisation in the texture of its primary ingredient of the ice. Traditionally made from pure ice and flavoured thereafter with syrup and topped off with condensed milk, kakigori also is interesting a treat in that it generally makes use of natural spring water for the shaves of its ice. Quite smooth and fluffy in its consistency and therefore also sometimes referred to as Angel Snow, this invention of the 11th century is a popular summertime treat throughout the country and one that also makes for special celebratory servings in all its steeping in taste through the long span of history.
Hands down the most remarkable interpretation of the ice creamy identity in a way and manner unlikely to be encountered eleswhere in such eccentric envisionings of taste and texture and flavour is the Akutaq or what is known after its region of origin as the Alaskan ice cream. Known also as Eskimo ice cream or for some reason also as Indian ice cream and numerous such variations, this is nowhere close to being the classic ice cream nor even adhering somehow to the many innovative variants of it.
Made out of animal fats and meat and oils and berries, this is a light and fluffy ‘dessert’ that though need not essentially be sweet. Nor does it need to be eaten only frozen even though fresh snow might make for an ingredient in its whipping and churning. Aqutaq itself might be a weird thing to pass off as ice cream but it sure emerges as legit enough a fact if one considers that of all the American states it is still the freezing land of Alaska where people eat the most ice cream per capita!
Cheese ice cream
‘Dirty’ isn’t the only weird prefix that describes ice cream in the Philippines. Equally interesting and somewhat weird perhaps in its essence at least though not so much in naming would be the cheese ice cream hailing from this part of the world. A working from within the sorbetes realm itself though, the cheddar cheese ice cream has to be a definite Philippine quirk in its concept as well as in its somewhat sweet and salty taste.
Classic an ice cream flavour enjoyed all throughout the length and breadth of the country and one that is quite a classic in also the deeply entrenched roots of it with a ‘lineage’ of close to a century now given its origins sometime around the period of the Second World War, the cheese ice cream definitely is not any novelty in the current context. But it sure occurs as novel enough an idea to tastefully pursue in the idiosyncratic expression afforded out of its mere mention.
A pseudo cheese ice cream, whatever that means in its literal evocation is what the Peruvian concocting of the queso helado presents as. Translating as frozen cheese but called also as jar ice cream and perplexing even in its reality of not having any cheese to do something with is this specialty of the city of Arequipa. Originating as a frozen dairy dessert during the Spanish conquest of Peru, this is a typical milk and condensed milk preparation with specific ingredients of chuno powder and cinnamon endowing it its characteristic flavor.
The method of prepping up this dessert itself is interesting though, yielding as it does layers of curdled milk that come off in the form of layers much like cheese flakes that explains finally in all definiteness the name of it. A truly off beat ice cream to savor for an experience that is as rich and decadent and creamy as one would expect from this category of the summertime treat.
Ice creams might be a summertime treat and one that tastes like a whole world of heaven delivering succour and pleasure upon the parched throat and the drained soul but the sheer quotient of deliciousness permeating every lick and each bite of this frozen treat is what makes one not seek the reason of season to dig into it every now and then. Russia then too therefore chooses not to care much about its mostly generic identity as a cold nation with even a traditional specialty to boast of out of immense consideration for the lip smacks. Known as plombir, this though is a French type of the ice cream that Russia has made its own and of course with custom interpretations as well.
Rich and smooth and creamy in its high fat content and residing in a heavenly thick texture all thanks to its generous use of such ingredients as eggs and condensed milk and cream and sugar and vanilla, the plombir had been a classic Russian identity and one so fresh and delectable in its assortment of the choicest ingredients that established it at one time as being among the best of the world. With a reputation so appetising one sure could not help but want to dig straight into this mass of cool all the way from a Soviet era existence.
A kulfi almost but one ‘regional’ still in its availing out of its Afghan homeland, the sheer yakh is an immensely delicious traditional treat worth all its digging out from the ice cream anthology of the world. Literally translating as frozen milk or cold milk is this dessert served in bowls, this though is a labour intensive and time consuming method in preparation much like the kulfi itself but in a somewhat different manner. The base ingredients are the same though of milk and sugar and classic flavorings of rose water and cardamom and nuts resonating thus the belief that i, we and the world together screams still in all unison for that lip smacking global treat of what is called the ice cream in all variations and types and styles and forms of it.