I am a huge ice cream fan. I try and have an ice cream in every place I visit. I was most interested to find that the World Atlas has identified the world’s top ten biggest national consumers of ice cream. This gave me the chance to share my favourite ice cream choices in those countries.
- New Zealand is number one with an average of 28.4 litres (7.5 gallons) per person eaten per year.My favourite is Tip Top Hokey Pokey which consists of Honeycomb pieces folded into Vanilla ice cream. Along with another delicious flavour Goody Goody gumdrops, Tip Top is ubiquitous across the country. If you come across Kapati icrecream, run to try it. The fig and honey flavour is amazing. (see pic right).
- The USA consumes 20.8 litres (5.5 gal) of ice cream per capita. My three favourite brands are Ben and Jerry’s (Chubby Hubby and Phish Food), Blue Bell of Texas (try the Mint Chocolate Chip) and Double Rainbow of California (butter pecan and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel). I also enjoy Turkey Hill (Rocky Road!).
- Australia comes in third at 18l (4.75 Gallons). Try the famous Golden Gaytime, Mango Weiss and Almond Magnums. There are multiple ice cream stores across the country. This list covers most of my favourite independent stores.
- Surprisingly, Finland comes next with 14.2 l (3.75 gal) per capita annually. Nestle has the chunk of the market with 45% and there are a lot of good independent stores.
- Sweden, also a cold climate country puts away 12 l (3.2gal). Everyone says 18 Smaker is the best. Try their black liquorice and gingerbread cookie flavours!
- Canada (10.6 l/ 2.8g). I am not an expert in Canadian ice cream but I loved Cold Comfort in Victoria.
- Denmark’s ice creams are superlative with Danes enjoying 9.8l (2.6 gal) a year. I love Gammeldags strawberry flavour. Their licorice is great too. For real decadence buy an ice cream cone or cup with two flavours to which is added whipped cream, a dab of jam and a flødebolle cream ball.
- Ireland comes in next with 8.4l (2.2gal), about one-third of what the Kiwis eat! You must try Murphy’s Ice Cream made from the milk of the rare, indigenous breed of Kerry cow. I want to marry their Caramel Honeycomb. Butterscotch is phenomenal too. They have also done some weird flavours including a much talked about Blue Cheese flavour. There are five stores across Ireland. I am sad that the Iceberger ice cream sandwich has been discontinued last month.
- Italy, despite its reputation for gelato, comes in at only eight litres per Italian (2.1 gallons). Since I was seven and had my first lick of gelato in Rome, a stop at a gelato store or barrow for a scoop of every flavour is my idea of Italian heaven.
- The UK with its tradition of “ices”, comes tenth with seven litres (1.8gal). I love the 99, soft ice cream in a cone with a chocolate Flake. When I was a kid, Walls had Funny Faces ice cream that was made with Cornish ice cream. Long discontinued, I think.
How can anyone think ice cream is anything but wonderful? If anyone wants to sponsor me, I am happy to travel the world sampling every ice cream available and write the ultimate guide!