While ice cream is generally considered to be as American as baseball, hotdogs and apple pie, Americans have no monopoly on the love for this famous dessert. People worldwide share an affinity for ice cream in its many forms and varieties.
In Italy, ice cream is a very popular dessert. The Italian style of ice cream, which is called gelato, is now being sold in some parts of the United States. There are a number of differences between Italian gelato and American ice cream. Contrary to common misconception, gelato does not contain any gelatin. Gelato contains much less fat than the American styles of ice cream, and its consistency is not as hard-frozen as its American ice cream counterparts. Gelato is usually made of fresh, all-natural ingredients. Produced in many of the same flavors as ice cream, nuts or chocolate chips are occasionally added. It is not surprising that this “new ice cream” has made its way to the United States, and is growing in popularity.
After the United States, New Zealand tops in the world’s ice cream consumption, at twenty litres per year. The New Zealand Ice Cream Company states that their Calci-Lite dairy dessert was likely the world’s first low-fat, calcium-fortified ice cream. Not wishing to sacrifice taste, this ice cream is made in seven flavors, including Saucey Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Malted, and Honeyed Vanilla. As an interesting fact, showing that ice cream truly is a universal favorite, two of New Zealand’s Tip Top Ice Cream Company’s most popular products are Rocky Road ice cream and Eskimo Pies!
Australia is the world’s third largest consumer of ice cream. Although some Australians like to make their own ice cream, the commercially-made types which most enjoy as a basic part of their diet are standard ice cream, soft serve, and Italian gelato!
Ice cream is also a favored treat amongst people in Japan. While the Japanese enjoy the same ice cream flavors that are most popular worldwide, such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, they also have a number of varieties which are quite unique! Of Japan’s unique list of ice cream flavors, such as Cactus ice cream, Chicken Wing ice cream, and Wasabi ice cream, there is one which has recently begun to attain acceptance in the United States Green Tea ice cream. Green Tea ice cream is not difficult to make, consisting of green tea powder, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and heavy cream.
The French love ice cream, too, and have many ice cream shops which specialize not only in ice cream but also soft serve and gelato. Chez Scoop, which is deemed to be one of the best shops in Paris, offers tourists and local customers the same universally-loved flavors of ice cream, such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Other styles of ice cream which are popular in Paris are the Grasshopper (vanilla ice cream with mint) and the Tortoise (vanilla ice cream with chocolate, caramel, and pecans). The French are also partial to ice cream which is topped with Vermont maple syrup!
Ice cream is so popular in the United Kingdom that the Ice Cream Alliance has existed since 1944. While mainly directed toward producers and sellers of ice cream, the Alliance also holds annual ice cream competitions. Although the United Kingdom consumes considerably less ice cream than the United States, they presently have more than a thousand ice cream companies. The British enjoy many of the same flavors as Americans, but have some which are likely unique to their region, such as Black Pudding ice cream and Newcastle Brown Ale ice cream.