A Tour of Ice Creams from Around the World

What is one dessert that never fails to make you happy? It’s ice cream! 

There’s nothing that ice cream can’t cure. Whether you’re sad, lonely, or stressed, it can make your day better. You can never go wrong with any flavor, too. From the classic vanilla or chocolate to fancy ones like cinnamon basil or lavender peach.

However, as some of you may already know, each culture from around the globe has a different interpretation of ice cream. Some countries don’t even call it ‘ice cream’! 

So, here’s a list of the world’s joy-inducing frozen delights you must try:

1. Thailand: I Tim Pad

Also known as stir-fried or rolled ice cream, the i tim pad is a popular street snack in Thailand. It’s made by pouring a sweet cream-based mixture onto a cooled metal surface. Then the liquid is flash-frozen and scraped off in a rolled thin layer of ice cream using a metal tool. 

I tim pad is served in a cup or bowl. And different toppings can be added to it, such as whipped cream, fruit, cookies, chocolate syrup, and more. 

2. Italy: Gelato

The Italian version of ice cream is called gelato. It’s made from cream, frozen milk, and other ingredients, making it ultra creamy and denser than American ice cream. Also, it is a bit sweeter, contains less butterfat, and is churned more slowly. 

Since it’s denser and served a little warmer, flavors are more intense than regular ice cream. Gelato is too dense to form into neat scoops, gliding across the tongue. And because it uses more milk than cream, there’s less fat and more room for flavors!

3. India: Kulfi

ice cream from india kulfi

History says that Kulfi was first crafted in northern India in the 16th century. It’s made from sugar, milk, spices, and local flavors like pistachio, saffron, mango, rosewater, and cardamom. This milk-based frozen dessert has a denser and creamier texture due to slow cooking. 

You’ll often find it topped with something crunchy, frozen in a cone-shaped mold. This ice cream is also famous in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar. 

4. Germany: Spaghettieis

icea cream from germany

If you’re looking for a more playful take on ice cream, Germany has it! Most German ice cream parlors serve spaghettieis these days. In fact, Dario Fontanella created spaghettieis in 1969 after squeezing vanilla ice cream through a spaetzle press. 

Spaghettieis are a frozen delight made by pressing vanilla ice cream through spaetzle presses to create spaghetti-like noodles and topped with strawberry sauce and shaved white chocolate to look like tomato sauce and cheese.

The unique appearance of spaghettieis is a head turner. You’ll get intrigued with it and will want to taste it. The sweet twist on this savory classic is a must-try!

5. Japan: Mochi

mochi ice cream from japan

One of Japan’s most enjoyed desserts is no other than mochi. This delish frozen treat is a blend of two tastes—ice cream and a chewy, sticky rice-based cake. A multitude of fillings is available, including red bean, matcha, black sesame, mango, plum wine, strawberry, and more.

Mochi was invented by a Japanese-American businesswoman, Frances Hashimoto, in the early 1990s. She used chocolate ice cream and fused daifuku, a traditional Japanese treat, with ice cream sandwiches. Then it became a hit and one of the most popular desserts in Japan. Plus, you can find it in grocery stores all over the world!

6. Alaska: Akutaq

ice cream from alaska akutaq

Eat like an Eskimo with akutaq. This native treat is made from whipped fat or tallow and mixed with mild sweeteners or seasonal berries, like blueberries and salmonberries. Natives made it a long time ago for survival. 

Also, akutaq can be made with caribou, moose, seal oil, and fish. Nowadays, there are other animal fat alternatives available that you can use to make it. You can use some roots and berries for the modern version of akutaq.

7. Turkey: Dondurma

turkish ice cream dondurma

Have you ever seen stretchy ice cream? Head to Turkey and check it out! It sounds unusual, but this Turkish ice cream, dondurma, is a must-try. It’s made from goat’s milk and has a hard, chewy texture. Its elasticity resists melting and allows it to be twisted like dough.

Dondurma street vendors wow everyone because of their unique way of selling their products. This ice cream won’t melt and fall off a stick since it’s thickened with salep, a flour made from wild orchid roots. The dondurma flavors include cherry, raspberry, mulberry, chocolate, and vanilla.

8. Philippines: Sorbetes

street ice cream sorbetes philippines

Sorbetes, or dirty ice cream, is a favorite in the Philippines. It’s a famous frozen street food made from carabao or cow milk, eggs, ice, and other flavors.

Interestingly, it’s sold by vendors known as sorbeteros with colorful carts. It is served in cups, cones, or bread buns, depending on your liking. Some of the popular flavors of sorbetes are ube, avocado, cheese, melon, coconut, mango, chocolate, and strawberry.

9. Ecuador: Helado de Paila

Ecuador- Helado de Paila

When traveling to the northern area of Ecuador, you’ll discover this local indulgence. The helado de paila is a roadside treat that consists of fresh fruit, water or cream, and sugar. And then, it is placed on a bed of crushed ice and salt. As everything is continually stirred, a light frozen concoction appears before your eyes!

The popular flavorings of helado de paila are naranjilla, soursop, araza, and taxo. You’ll surely be in awe of this extraordinary ice cream as you watch it being made.

10. United States of America: Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt was born in America, dating back to the late 1970s. It took off in the 1980s as a low-fat alternative to ice cream. What makes it a little different from the usual ice cream is that it’s made with yogurt instead of cream and milk. 

Frozen yogurt can be served with fresh fruits for a healthier version. Choose any available fruits, nuts, or other additions and enjoy this yummy indulgence!

Indeed, ice cream can have as many variations, depending on the country you’re in. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best desserts you can eat to have a happy day. So grab a cone or cup of these frozen sweet treats today and enjoy guilt-free as much as you can!

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