Italy is famous for its gelato, and most of it is hand-made and sold in individual gelateria shops. It is made out of whole milk, eggs, sugar and whatever they use to flavor it, which is generally naturally created. Traditionally, gelato was served in a small glass dish or in a wax paper, aka a “hokey pokey.” This is fading due to the ice cream cone. Italians are very creative with gelato flavors; they range from cappuccino to strawberry to tiramisu to liqueur to lemon flavors. Most people who make it take pride in their recipes and use real fruits and nuts rather than syrups.
Italian-style gelato is also common in Argentina, because the country has a high percentage of ethnic Italians. Its most famous flavor is dulche de leche.
Ice cream has become a very popular desert in Japan; about two in five adults eat it weekly. The most popular flavors are vanilla, chocolate, green tea and strawberry. People in the older generation like red bean ice cream, which is called azuki. There is even a Japanese Ice Cream Association that publishes an ice cream white paper. There is even cherry blossom flavored ice cream in Japan during that season.
Turkish ice cream is called Dondurma, and it is made out of goat milk. It is a lot tougher and chewier than gelato or ice cream. This is because salep and mastic resin are put into it to thicken the texture. It does not melt as much as other countries’ versions of ice cream either. Some people even eat it with a fork and knife. Its production has caused a plummet of wild orchids in Turkey, which are used to make the salep.
India and Pakistan
Indian ice cream is known as “Kulfi,” and it is much more dense than ice cream. It is made out of milk, but it takes a while to melt. Some common flavors include pistachio, mango, saffron, pistachio, avocado and peanut. It is not whipped, so it is more of a custard than a traditional ice cream. It is usually sold in Indian and Pakistan by street vendors. They keep the kulfi in large pots filled with ice and salts, and then serve it on a leaf or frozen onto a popsicle stick.
Click here for a kulfi recipe.
If you’re an ice cream lover, also make sure to check out list of the “101 Frightening Ice Cream Flavors From Around the World.”