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Ice Cream Varieties by Country 2024

The history of ice cream can be traced back thousands of years to the Tang Dynasty, the emperors of which were likely the first to enjoy a version of the frozen dairy treat people around the world love today. The first ice cream was made with buffalo, cow, or goat milk, was heated with flour, and was flavored with camphor, a minty substance derived from pine trees. Centuries later, Arabic societies went on to enjoy sherbet drinks, much like the fruity treats that are enjoyed around the world today. Europeans and Italians caught on shortly after.

The first ice cream that would be recognizable as the dessert we know and love today was developed in Naples, Spain by Antonio Latini. He created a milk-based sorbetto that's similar to today's dairy-based ice creams. Over time, culinary enthusiasts from other countries began the process of adding new flavors to ice cream, including fruits like raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and currants. Some ice cream chefs even added candied flowers and grated cheese to their recipes.

From vanilla to mint chocolate chip to charcoal (really!), ice cream flavor options around the world are numerous. Some countries are more adventurous when it comes to frozen delights than others.

Coromoto--an ice cream shop located in Merida, Venezuela--offers 860 different flavors of ice cream. The shop offers traditional favorites such as chocolate and vanilla, as well flavors that are a bit harder to pin down, including a flavor called British Airways. The shop has pushed the limits of creativity since it opened in 1980, including flavors like spaghetti and cheese on its ever-changing menu.

Strange ice cream flavors are available all around the globe. If you're in a major metropolitan area, it's rare that you'll have to look far to find an out-of-the-box ice cream confection. Japan's Cellato ice cream company recently released a flavor that left customers shocked--the flavor, called Byakuya, cost over $6,000 for a half-cup serving. Currently, interested customers can order the flavor online. It includes Italian truffles, sake lees, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The company is continuing their high-end ice cream flavors with the development of caviar and black truffle flavors.

Today, countries around the world continue to experiment with flavors that their consumers were love, from potato-chip-infused vanilla to peanut-butter-cookie-dough-topped chocolate.

  • As ice cream is both a varied and a nearly ubiquitous dessert, compiling a list of every possible flavor of ice cream in any given country may well be logistically infeasible. In light of this fact, the table spotlights some of the more unique ice cream treats in each country.

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Ice Cream Varieties
GermanySpaghettieisVanilla ice cream squeezed through a press so it resembles spaghetti, then topped with strawberry "pasta sauce" and white chocolate "parmesan".
IndiaKulfiDense ice cream with flavors including pistachio, mango, cardamom, and saffron, frozen in cone-shaped molds and eaten on a stick.
IndonesiaEs dogerCoconut-milk-based ice cream with flavors such as mango or durian and topped with fruit, honey, or condensed milk.
IsraelHalva ice creamIce cream made with fruit, honey, and nuts. Recipes date to the 13th century, though some believe its history extends back thousands of years.
ItalyGelatoDenser, richer, lower-fat variation of ice cream said to have been invented in the 1500s.
JapanKakigōriShaved ice sweetened condensed milk and flavored with syrup. Traces back to the 11th century.
MalaysiaAis kacangComposed of shaved ice, red beans (the name roughly translates to iced beans), jelly, and syrup. Condensed milk and ice cream, as well as nuts or fruits like mango and durian, can be added on top.
MexicoPaletasBar-shaped frozen treat on a stick that comes in two basic types: juice-based fruit flavors and milk-based flavors such as chocolate, coffee, coconut, and chongos zamoranos.
New ZealandHokey pokeyHoneycomb toffee-flavored ice cream that is among the most popular flavors in the country.
PhilippinesSorbetesMade with water buffalo milk, ice, and eggs. Flavors range from ube (yam) to cheddar cheese. May be eaten in a cone or sandwiched between slices of bread.
RussiaPlombirIce cream made with more condensed milk than most types, as well as sugar, which gives it high thickness and sweetness.
South KoreaJ-coneCorrectly titled Jipangyi, this treat is a slender corn shell in the shape of an upper-case J (or an inverted candy cane) and filled with ice cream.
SyriaBoozaDense ice cream whose ingredients include sahlab (orchid root) and mastic (resin), which give it a higher melting point. Called dondurma in Turkey.
ThailandI tim padKnown as rolled or stir-fried ice cream in the US, made by pouring sweet cream-based mixture over a frozen metal surface, then rolling it with a metal scraper. Offers a very wide variety of flavors.
TurkeyDondurmaDense ice cream whose ingredients include sahlab (orchid root) and mastic (resin), which give it a higher melting point. Called booza in Syria.
United StatesFrozen custardVariation on ice cream made with eggs, making it denser and creamier than dairy-only ice creams.

Which country has the most ice cream flavors?

The ice cream parlor, Coromoto in Merida, Venezuela, offers 860 flavors of ice cream.

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