While ice cream is certainly a beloved dessert in the United States, other countries and cultures enjoy their own delicious variations of this sweet, frozen treat. Many of us know ice cream for its “traditional” flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, or its milky and creamy consistency. However, people in other regions know ice cream for entirely different flavors, ingredients, or textures.
When it comes to dessert, the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few different ways other countries enjoy their favorite icy indulgence:
Turkish ice cream, called dondurma, is most commonly found in natural flavors like pistachio, hazelnuts, and fruit. Dondurma has a stretchy, taffy-like texture that comes from the mastic gum it’s mixed with.
Indonesian Es Puter
In Indonesia, travelers can find es puter being sold on the streets and in markets. Sweet coconut milk is chilled and flavored with local fruit, like jackfruit and durain. Honey, chocolate, and even beans are also common flavor additions.
Iranian Faloodeh or Paloodeh
Rather than chilled milk or ice, Iranian sorbet is made with thin noodles! The noodles are dyed, frozen in sugary syrup, and then flavored with lime juice, cherry syrup, or occasionally pistachio and honey.
In Sicily, shaved ice is a favorite frozen treat. Fluffy and crystalline, the most common flavor of granita is lemon, though strawberry, mint, and almond are also common.
Argentinian helado has been influenced by Italian gelato, and so the two are rather similar. Dulce de leche is a flavor favorite, though artisan shops blend many other unique flavors as well.
Finally, India’s kulfi is custard-like and dense. It’s so dense, in fact, that those looking for a frozen treat don’t even need a bowl because kulfi is served on a stick! Kulfi is more savory than sweet and often flavored with saffron or cardamom.
There’s more to the world of ice cream than American soft-serve. With so many styles and flavors, it might be time to come out of your chocolate twist comfort zone to try another culture’s take on ice cream!