From Turkey’s dondurama to Taiwan’s snow ice, Musement takes a look at ten different ice cream preparations from around the world.
It’s August which means that most of us are finding ways to keep cool, and of course one of the most refreshing chilled indulgences during this time is ice cream! No matter where you are, it’s likely you’re enjoying some riff on this frozen creamy, milky, sugary mixture. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at ice cream and its different iterations around the world. Here are ten—you might even be able to find some in your own neighborhood.
1. Gelato, Italy
Even if you’ve never been to Italy, you’ve likely seen gelato on your Instagram feed, or you most likely have someone who has visited gush over it. What makes this Italian frozen treat so particular is that it contains more milk and less cream than ice cream, and it’s whipped at a slower pace which lets in less air resulting in a denser texture. There are familiar flavors like such as vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio, but some oh so Italian like stracciatella and fior di latte.
2. Kulfi, India
India has myriad good eats and Kulfi is one of them. This frozen dessert is similar to ice cream but much creamier and denser, and, therefore, melts more slowly. Made from caramelized milk, kulfi’s signature flavors include saffron, rose, pistachio, mango, and cardamom. It’s cylindrical in shape and usually served popsicle style on a stick.
3. Dondurma, Turkey
While this may look and perhaps even taste like typical ice cream, the texture is remarkably different. Dondurma contains mastic, a plant resin, and salep, an orchid tuber, which adds a chewy texture. Many places treat it as shawarma, using a butcher’s knife to cut slices. Those who don’t, though, often put on quite a show while serving it.
4. Jipangyi, South Korea
This Korean soft-serve ice cream is generally served in a thick upside-down cane-shaped cone made from puffed corn. Given its shape, it’s easy to see how watching one eat it could prompt some suggestive commentary—but it’s a delight that’s started to spread to Southeast Asia.
5. Spaghettieis, Germany
The Germans have a pendant for ice cream that looks like spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream is pushed through a spaetzle press resulting in noodle shaped strands. These are then doused with strawberry sauce and topped with coconut, shredded almonds, or white chocolate shavings to represent then parmesan cheese.
6. Faloodeh, Iran
The Iranians enjoy a noodle-shaped frozen dessert as well. Faloodeh is similar to sorbet, comprised of starchy vermicelli sized ice “noodles” flavored with sugar and water, then usually accompanied by lime syrup and topped with pistachios or pomegranate seeds.
7. Snow Ice, Taiwan
Taiwanese snow ice just might conjure nostalgia for the Sno-Cones you enjoyed from the Ice Cream man. This light and fluffy mound of shaved ice is topped with your choice of flavors, such as simple syrup, condensed milk, or mango, though evaporated milk and red bean toppings are popular as well. Nowadays, you can find plenty more options though such as matcha, strawberry, almond, taro, pudding, and more.
8. Helado de Paila, Ecuador
This Ecuadorian specialty is traditionally prepared on the spot in a large bronze or copper pot. Fresh fruit, sugar, and water or cream are mixed together as the pot spins to create a delicious frozen delight that has a sorbet-like texture. The flavors tend to be fruits typical of Ecuador such as blackberry, coconut, tree tomato, mango, and passion fruit among others.
9. Rolled Ice Cream: Thailand
Rolled ice cream is also known as stir-fried ice cream. The mixture has a base of milk, cream, and sugar, plus whatever flavors are necessary. It’s “sauteed” on an ice pan then spread out so it hardens, then rolled up and served in a cup. The rolls are placed in a vertical position before being, if applicable, topped. Though it originated in Thailand, you can now find it all over the world.
10. Paleta, Mexico
Mexico’s contribution to the frozen dessert world is the paleta. While the natural fruit versions of this ice pop tend to be the most popular, there are also several milk-based flavors available as well.