The best ever ice cream. Where? Argentina.
Updated: Nov 2, 2019
Argentine steak and wine are famous. But what about its ice cream? In my book, An Argentine in my Kitchen, Catherine, the main protagonist, loves chocolate ice cream. So it's just as well that there's an heladería or 'ice cream store' on the corner. And that heladerías can be found every three or so blocks in Buenos Aires, either as single family-owned shops, or chains.
Ice cream generates passion in Argentina. As with football teams, everyone has their favourite ice cream flavour and heladería, and will argue fervently in their defence. People queue to buy ice cream at popular heladerías both in winter and summer, or they phone the shop to order ice cream by the kilo. The delivery is usually by bicycle to the foyer of the apartment building, and the ice cream arrives in insulated containers.
Not surprisingly, Argentina's delicious ice cream was introduced by Italian immigrants, whose descendants make up over fifty percent of the population.
Lonely Planet rightly names two of the main flavours, dulce de leche - a delicious caramel - and sambayón, or zabaglione. But of course there are many more flavours and combinations often numbering as many as sixty in one shop. They include all sort of fruits, such as orange, lemon, melon, peach, fig, banana, maracujá (similar to passion fruit), strawberry and raspberry. And then there are the three chocolate flavours - white, milk, and dark. As well as Rocher chocolate. And of course there are the extras: almonds, cashews, chocolate coated almonds, raisins, chocolate chips, merengue, brownies and many more. And there are both gelato styles and crema - made with dairy. The list goes on.
To find some good heladerías, simply search 'Buenos Aires ice cream' and you'll come up with some great blog posts.
And if you'd like a recipe for zabaglione, you'll find one in my book, An Argentine in my Kitchen.