STAY ICE CREAMED!
By Pavni Grover
This essentially sweetened (sugarfree variant too) frozen food is typically eaten as a snack or dessert. Usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other exotic ingredients and flavours, the mixture is stirred and cooled below freezing point and the resultant is smooth, solid or semi-solid foam that everyone loves.
Ice creams it is believed owe their invention to snow being mixed with honey and fruits in Greece in 5th century BC. They have come a long way to the modern day Cold Stone Ice Creams, nitrogen ice creams, dancing Turkish ice creams etc, there has been a delectable revolution in the ice creams industry over the years.
They vary from one country to another. Phrases such as ‘frozen custard’, ‘frozen yogurt’, ‘sorbet’, ‘gelato’ and many other terms are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. Frozen custard is essentially an admixture of eggs, cream and sugar; frozen yoghurt on the other hand is a concoction of yoghurt, ice and other dairy products often mixed with fresh fruits. Sorbet and gelato have their own niche characteristics which make them stand out.
While a sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water with flavouring, a gelato which is Italy’s brainchild is made with a base of milk, cream and sugar and flavoured with fruit and nut purees along with other flavourings. Moreover, ice creams may also be served in cups, mugs, jars, cones or sticks, depending on how one would like it.
Taking into consideration the love that people have for ice creams in India one can truly say that starting from the lick lollies that everyone has enjoyed ever since their childhood days specially on family picnics to the various gardens, public parks and monuments across the nation served via ice cream carts, to the vast variety of ice cream cones taking the whole ice cream eating experience a notch higher, ice creams have surely been an integral part of every individual’s life since times immemorial.
Not just as individual servings but when in bigger groups ice cream bricks and tubs have been a huge hit and one can find at least one ice cream brick lying in almost every household’s refrigerator freezer, because you never know the urge to eat these at any given time, in any given mood and in any given quantity!
Over the years in India in particular certain brands of ice creams have held a special place in people’s hearts. Brands like Kwality Walls, Mother Dairy, Amul, Vadilal etc have been omnipresent in the market place since decades. Even Indian brands such as Havmor ice creams are coming up after revamping their older look and winning hearts all over again nationwide. These ice creams are easily available pan India at their respective booths and even on small ice cream carts, moving around the length and breadth of the nation.
But the variety of ice creams does not just end here. With the emergence of technologies that enable ice creams being cooked from scratch right in front of the buyer on cold stones by mixing the fresh ingredients with liquid nitrogen to make it freeze, to the ice cream scoops defying gravity and dancing on the cones, low fat to even fat free variants of ice creams for the health conscious eaters there is certainly no looking back.
Also various ice cream brands from abroad have come up in India lately and are slowly and gradually making their space in the market front, namely Haagen Dazs, London Dairy, Ben and Jerry’s etc.
The price of all the above mentioned ice creams range from a mere Rs.15 for a small cup and go up to about Rs.200 for a single serving depending on the brand the quality, flavour and the outlet chosen. Ice cream is not just food for consumption but rather a one stop solution to one’s grief, a rescue option from the scorching heat and also gift to friends in times of happiness and celebrations.
Ice creams have varied emotions involved with them. “I am a sweet addict and almost after every meal I crave for ice creams, for which I used to end up ordering a tub of Belgian Dark Chocolate Ice cream or Kuch Nahi Sundaes from my age old favourite, Gianis, while I was in India and that is one thing I miss the most about my homeland” said Raghvi Verma, an 18-year-old, Indian student studying abroad. Ice creams have been everyone’s favourite and defy age, since eons and with the age old ice cream brands serving a plethora of flavour, even a single bite is enough to bring back all the emotions and take one down the memory lane.
Brands such as Nirulas (based in north India) serving a great number of ice cream flavours, ice cream shakes, cold coffee with ice cream etc; Gianis (based in Delhi NCR) serving out of the box ice cream flavours along with other brands such as Kwality (In collaboration with Britain’s Walls Ice cream is available pan India) and Cream Bell (available pan India) majorly known for the variety of flavours of lick lollies they have got to offer ranging from Orange, Cola, Lemon, Blue berry blast, pomegranate to various others are a great escape from the scorching heat. Also brands such as Top ‘n’ Town (based in Madhya Pradesh), Arun ice cream (based in south India), Dinshaw ice cream serving a vast variety of dairy products based ice creams in flavours like chocolate, red velvet, strawberry cheesecakes etc and Pallonji’s ice cream sandwiches (based in Maharashtra), are some of the local ice creams that have been people’s all time favourite since generations and have been satiating their summer tongue chillers.
Ice creams are mainly available on sticks in the form of lick lollies, in cups of various sizes ranging from 100 gms which accounts for a single serving to tubs and bricks of 500gms, 750gms and 1 kg for big groups or big eaters. These ice cream brands are not just mere brands but legacies all together with families taking the business forward adapting to the changing market scenarios one generation after another.
Nirula’s ice cream for instance started off as a market leader in the 1970’s, faced stiff competition from other upcoming Indian and international brands, went through a lot of ups and downs but has now still managed to hold ground making all possible efforts to return to its past glory. Cream Bell on the other hand, a fairly new brand in the Indian market owned by RJ Corporation, is India’s most promising Ice Cream brand holding 15% of the market share. There is a bag full of stories of the establishment, challenges faced and a desire to succeed, of various Indian ice cream brands that are truly inspirational.
Not just buying ice creams from stores, one can even experiment with culinary skills and make ice creams at home with recipe books like Thanda Mazza ice creams recipe book, and the one by Mudit Mohini. While my favourite is ‘Ice Creams and Frozen Desserts’ by Nita Mehta, a widely acclaimed cookery author. So in this burning Delhi summer of 2017, stay indoors and make some fine ice creams for the family and friends.