Ice cream on a scorching summer day on the beach; ice cream on a cold day when you’re snuggled away at home by the fire; ice cream on a happy day to double the joy; and ice cream on a gloomy day to help fight the negative energy! Ice cream is the perfect go-to comfort food that you should feel not guilty about treating yourself to on any day!
My memories of the first ice cream go back to my childhood in Beijing where mum always takes me on a taste adventure on Sunday treat (cheat) day! I remember the ice cream parlour that we always visit was a Baskin-Robbins 31 Ice Cream store just down by the swimming pool. As a little girl, I was fascinated every time by sticking my face to the glass pane which separates me to a beautiful world of ice creams. Being indecisive as I was (and I am still now), I always take forever choosing a flavour although I always end up picking a scoop of Rainbow ice cream in, most likely because it was so colourful! My mum, on the other hand, always chose a Maple Walnut scoop in a cup. Interesting enough, I started to favour nutty ice cream nowadays as I grew older. Ice cream memories fill up my childhood, whether it’s an “Ice Cream storm” shake from DQ or Haagen-Dazs afternoon tea treats, I was never short of sweet memories. As a health-conscious child since 1995, my favourite restaurant had been Pizza-Hut, and now I recall there was a yoghurt soft serve store right next to it, and that must’ve been the beginning of the Yoghurt story and KiwiYo hype which swept across New Zealand a few years later.
Of course, while I get to indulge in decadent, but expensive American ice cream treats with my mum, I can never get enough of the old-school $1 popsicles that were sold in bulk just by our apartment. I loved the variety as well as the affordability. I still remember one of my favourite ice cream bars was called the “corn” where you get a whole stick of vanilla ice cream, coated with a pastry-style biscuit thing that looked exactly like a corn cob. There was also the “watermelon” ice block, which of course, was a giant triangular red icicle with another green ice slab stuck on top! There were probably loads of food colouring and sugar in those bad boys, but nonetheless, the same truckload of happiness and love from my grandparents who would always buy at least 5 for me (for eating them “later”).
Fast forward to 10 years after, when I have called New Zealand my home and no longer a teenager, my love for ice cream remains. In New Zealand, we are strong advocates for local brands, with Tip Top consistently taking the title for being a Kiwi Favourite, and New Zealand Natural and Movenpick following suit. Although Ben & Jerry have entered the market, you know you just can’t beat a good Choco-bar or Jelly Tip! Oh and let’s not forget Giapo, our world-famous, beautifully hand-crafted gelato ice-cream. Each cone with toppings is like an artwork! Very fortunate to have lived a sweet life without a shortage of ice creams! Can’t wait to have another ten years of ice cream and seeing new creations such as the nitrogen-filled ice cream (Sydney) popping up on our streets. Wow, that was hard work, I’m already sweating after writing 300 words, but I guess it is 23 degrees outside right now, think I need to get myself a Kapiti Blood Orange Sorbet….. Viva ice cream!