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Ice Cream Traditions Around the World

Ice cream is one dessert that is loved and appreciated universally.  But with the difference in preference on how to delve this delicacy countries around the world have adopted variations that have now become a tradition in their own right!

New Zealand: Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

While you reveal a lot about yourself when you order ice cream, you mostly say that you love fun when ordering New Zealand favorite, Hokey Pokey. The blend can vary, depending on which shop you visit, but mostly it means plain vanilla ice cream mixed with generous heaps of honeycomb toffee. The outcome is a super rich, creamy ice cream—and it’s delicious, says McNish. It’s popular throughout the North and South islands of New Zealand and even available at grocery stores, with a leading brand called Tip Top’s Hokey Pokey.

Japan: Mochi

You probably will love giving mochi ice cream a swirl when you visit Japan. Available in nearly every city small and large you might mistake these small circular rounds of ice cream as macaroons at first glance. Ice cream is shaped into bite-size circles and pounded rice paste is wrapped around to keep it from melting. Coming in at just around 100 calories a pop, you probably will want to try at least a handful before heading toward more sightseeing.

Spaghettini

Nope, this ice cream tradition isn’t from Italy, even though it looks like it. Instead, this is a dish you can order throughout Germany. Pastry chefs work to make an ice cream sundae mimic a traditional bowl of spaghetti you can have for dessert rather than dinner. How do they pull this feat off? Vanilla ice cream stands in for noodles, strawberry puree for the marinara, and coconut flakes for the parmesan cheese.

Spain: Fun-Shaped Ice Cream

You can wander down a grocery aisle in any major Spanish city from Madrid to Barcelona and you’ll likely find Frigo, a brand of ice cream which presents the favorite in a variety of quirky shapes, from rocket ships to pies. For more of a gourmet experience, head to Madrid where you can visit Rocambolesc Gelateria. “They make an absolutely insane coconut and violet sorbet that you can top with a cloud of cotton candy and star-shaped sprinkles. Rocambolesc even offers a cherry strawberry flavored arbutus bear, which is Madrid’s fuzzy mascot, shaped popsicle as well as funky popsicles flavors, like Girona apple and blood orange plus mango sorbet, in wonky shapes like noses and fingers”.

Italy: Gelato

While exploring the ancient Roman streets in scorching-hot heat, the very vision of a gelato stand may make your mouth begin to water. As a timeless tradition dating back to the Italian Renaissance, gelato is a popular summer day treat that helps you cool down from the sunshine. Gelato likely will remind you of traditional ice cream at first glance, but it’s actually lower in fat. You’ll find it to be a thicker consistency with richer flavors, infused with all sorts of sweet and savory spices and ingredients.

San Francisco, United States: Taiyaki Ice Cream

“Taiyaki, or fish cone ice cream, is a common sight in Japan, but it’s a rarity in the US In order to create a taiyaki, pancake or waffle batter is popped it into a fish-shaped mold. A dollop of sweetened red vanilla azuki bean paste is dropped in the bottom of the fishtail and then you get to put your favorite flavor of ice cream on top,”.

Turkey: Dondurma

Made with salep, an orchid root found locally, ice cream in Turkey is super-stretchy (like mozzarella cheese) and also very chewy (like gummies or taffy). And yet, it’s still cold. Made in a variety of flavors and served throughout the country, Turkey is the only place where you can actually nibble on this strange concoction since orchid root is illegal to export.

Cuba: Mantecado

A traditional Cuban flavor is ‘mantecado,’ which has a custard base with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Or if you’re more into fruit, coco glace is a coconut ice cream served inside of a coconut shell.

Thailand: I Tim Pad

As beautiful and picturesque as beaches in Thailand are, its location means that the weather is humid, sticky and hot nearly year-round. You’ll need a refresher when you’re trekking through streets and sands, so make a pit stop to try ‘I Tim Pad.’ Easy to eat on the go—and a super-popular street snack—you might think you’re buying a small veggie wrap when you stumble across a stand. In Thailand, ice cream chefs don’t churn their ice cream, but instead, they flash-freeze it to make a circular, thin shape that they scrape off and turn into tiny ice cream rolls. Pretty easy for a quick, sweet bite!

Southern US: Snow cream

Blame it on the fact that many Americans rarely see snow, but there is a timeless tradition of scooping it up to make a fun snow day dessert. Scoop up a bowl of snow, top it with sugar, milk and vanilla extract to make an inexpensive and easy ice cream blend.

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