Sub-zero delight

July 2024 Living

Photo: Aroma Global

On a holiday, waiting in line for an ice cream? A queue of our times…It’s almost part of the holiday itinerary: breakfast, beach, lunch, beach, dinner, and finally, joining the line to get that refreshing scoop of your favourite flavour. You know the drill: you’ve checked Tripadvisor and found that top-rated local gelateria. And for the taste of it, you will wait. You’re in no rush anyway.

It’s July, so it’s only right to turn our attention to ice creams. One of our favourite treats has been around for thousands of years. As far back as 500BC, the Persians are believed to have created an early version by mixing snow with grape juice and other flavours. In the Roman empire, Nero sent slaves to collect snow from the mountains to mix with honey and wine, while the Tang Dynasty in China developed a creamy mix made from buffalo milk, flour, and camphor.

Then, in the 17th century, the French introduced the milk-based ice creams as we know them today.  By the 18th century, ice cream had made its way to America, where it rapidly gained popularity. With the invention of cone in the mid-19th centry, the ice cream was set for global dominance.

Today, the biggest consumers of the frozen delight are not Americans as popularly believed – it’s New Zealanders. Huge fans, an average Kiwi consumes over 28kg of ice cream per year! In our region, Croats top the table with 7.5kg per person, with Serbs consuming 5kg, and Slovenians and Bosnians just under 4kg.

Flavours to savour

While vanilla still reigns supreme as the most popular flavour in many countries, followed closely by chocolate, our taste buds have altered in recent times and, frankly, we are spoiled for choice. Ice cream makers have created and continue to create some truly unique and unusual flavours: avocado, garlic, chili, Stilton cheese, bacon, asparagus, even oysters!

Photo: Aroma Global

Those might not be up your street but flavours, such as those created by Aroma Global, Slovenian-owned ice cream brand with production in Croatia, are much more appealing: hazelnut, caramel with sea salt, mango, pistachio, dark chocolate, raspberry, to name but a few. The company’s founder and majority owner Primož Ogrizek proudly explains that the ingredients in their aROMA gelato are natural and sourced from various parts of the world: pistachios from the Bronte region in Sicily, Piedmont hazelnuts, Madagascar vanilla, raspberries from Arilje in Serbia, Alphonso mangoes from India, and exclusively local fresh milk, cream, and yogurt. They company uses fresh fruit, cold-pressed citrus, and fresh herbs such as basil, mint, and rosemary to ensure that aROMA’s gelato stands out, Ogrizek adds. What is more, they also have specialised flavours such as Fior Di Latte with olive oil, teranino, and lavender with lemon, adding a local touch in their offering.

Amongst the more than 50 produced flavours by the company, it is pistachio that tops the popularity in their 57 boutiques across Croatia. Our guess is it’s probably worth a try.

In the queue yet?