Give in to temptation, beat the heat with the chill and let the cool flavours wash your tongue like waves of delight. Serish Nanisetti hits the city ice cream trail
It’s a muggy evening at Eat Street and you have left behind the smells and sounds of the lake behind you as you step inside an ice cream kiosk called Amore. An ice cream rarely gives off smell but the colours are enough to make you gulp with desire. These are not ice creams they are gelati and sorbettoes. It is not scooped out but it is lopped off into the cup or cone with a spatula, put a spoonful in the mouth and it melts leaving an “explosion of the flavour in your mouth followed by creaminess.” It doesn’t take time to melt in your mouth it spreads in your mouth.
And heaven is in the middle of your tongue.
A little later in the night, under a tree on Prenderghast Road, there are rows of parked cars in front of Haridwar. As rambunctious children hop out of cars into the ice cream parlour and then back with their choices, there is a sense of distinct Indianness to the ice creams. It is a city brand called Scoops and is a rage thanks to the ultra competitive prices. The flavours range from litchi to sitaphal to pineapple and you can not just taste but actually bite into the fruit pieces in the ice cream. They don’t have to shout no artificial flavours, it is obvious.
Want something more Indian? Head to Almond House or 24 Letter Mantra where you can taste besides these fruits even coconut and sapota. Eating the coconut icecream is like savouring the taste of a tender coconut with the flesh almost melting in the mouth.
If exotic is what you want check out the New Zealand Natural which has two outlets. Naturally, the USP is milk and the range includes yoghurts and sorbets besides the regular ice creams with flavours like Bananaberry, hokey pokey, lime and lemon as well as something called Neopolitan. “The ice cream is made in New Zealand and nothing is local except for the cones. Even if there is a 10-minute drop in the cold chain we don’t put that batch on display. Customers can make out a refrozen ice cream,” says Charan Reddy of New Zealand Natural.
“Gelato has a significantly lower fat content when compared to industrial ice creams. Traditional gelato contains 35-40 per cent over run, which means it has more product and less air content thus yielding a denser, more compact consistency as compared to industrial ice creams which have 80 -100 per cent over run. The scientific manufacturing and freezing process imparts a smooth and creamier texture to gelato, which allows it to be served with a spatula,” says Dilkash Abbas of Amore.
Unlike ice cream, gelato ingredients are not homogenized, which results in a product that melts faster than ice cream.
The key is not just in the ice cream but also in the freezer. The gelato has to be served from the gelato freezer or forced air freezer where the ice cream retains its consistency and not an ice cream freezer where it is likely to get frozen. So, when an outlet on S.P. Road peddles gelati from an ice cream freezer, there is a world of difference in taste.
If the gelati is a technical art with high investment, then nothing can beat freshness. Slurp some flavours that are as old as the city at Famous Ice Cream near Mozzam Jahi Market.
Then there is ice cream-at-your-doorstep. Never heard of it? It is those bandiwallahs who pedal and peddle Scoops, Kwality, Amul, Vadilal and Taj brands. Frozen solid, bite into it and a slice of your childhood swims in front of your eyes.Q & A
Tempted by the vegetarian tag? Don’t be. It is there to tell you that vegetable oils might also be part of the cool concoction.
97 per cent fat free? Of course the definition of ice cream is that it has to have 3 percent or more dairy fat.
Frozen desserts or sundaes? Some companies are not allowed to use milk products and don’t qualify as ice cream. Hence the euphemism.