“Ice cream is happiness condensed.”
I couldn’t agree more with Jessi Lane Adams. After all, there’s no better way to beat the summer heat than with some ice cream, right?Whether you fancy an unpretentious ice lolly, an indulgent sundae or a simple scoop in a waffle cone, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
While this summer delight is a pleasure to have especially in this scorching heat, I am always on a lookout for new flavour options and thankfully, there are options aplenty for when one craves to dig into this frozen treat.
Owing to the sultry Delhi weather, I went around, one tub at a time, to decipher which restaurant chain is doing complete justice to one of my all-time-favorite flavour: coffee! A dose of caffeine in the morning with my cuppa and another dose in the evening after dinner with coffee ice cream is what balancing would be about.
While the bitter coffee notes might force you to conclude that every coffee ice cream would be more or less identical with different ice cream brands, turns out, is actually not true. Taste and texture play a pivotal role in deciding your pick. Whether it has a mellow undertone of coffee, or a strong lashing of it, whether it is paired well with another ingredient or not, whether it’s creamy and smooth or icy and foamy, everything together makes the perfect ice cream.
For my experiment, I opted for 4 most popular brands in the ice cream scene of South Delhi: Giani’s, Naturals, Baskin Robins and Nirulas. To make it fair, I compared the premium ice cream brands and hence, Mother dairy, Kwality walls et al were not considered. After careful consideration, this is what I inferred:
1. Naturals: A brand that has been making ice creams using only fruits, dry fruits, chocolates, milk, and sugar, with no preservatives or stabilizer, Natural’s, I thought would do justice. The flavor variant available is Coffee and Walnut, which though is a good combination, because of uneven chunks of walnuts, some of which were whole, dampened the overall texture and experience of enjoying an ice cream. It didn’t have much of a distinct flavor and was kind of underwhelming, owing to walnuts taking over coffee, instead of the other way around, making it rank 4.
2. Baskin Robbins: A world-renowned brand, Baskin Robbins, had ‘Roasted Coffee Creme’ at disposal for me. The ice cream, prepared with cow milk, had a nice dense texture that held its shape for a while. The flavor of the coffee was sharp, but it lacked the creamy goodness that I had desired. The frostiness in the ice cream and it being on the sweeter side as compared to the other brands, made it rank 3rd.
3. Giani’s: A brand that got established in Delhi itself, Giani’s is surely a favorite because of the Indian-variety of ice creams that they offer, alongside the common variants available elsewhere. When it came to coffee, Giani surely managed to bring out the flavor of coffee, but the texture is where it went for a toss. The ice crystals in my ice cream suppressed the intense flavor of the coffee that I had sought and met, and made Giani’s appear as the second best.
4. Nirulas: India’s oldest restaurant chain, Nirulas, the birthplace of the legendary hot chocolate fudge, is primarily known for their sundaes. Little did I know that it would become the undisputed winner amongst the four chosen brands. Having two varieties at disposal: mocha and coffee fudge, Nirulas, offered the best of both worlds, coffee, and chocolate. The rich coffee flavor accompanied by chocolate and the smooth and creamy texture of the ice cream, is the reason why it deserved the overall win. Having been distracted with the HCF and Banana Split sundae, I never really experimented at Nirulas, but I guess, I would from now on!
While Baskin Robbins and Giani’s had plain coffee ice cream flavour to offer, Naturals and Nirulas had flavour combinations at play.
Baskin Robbins and Giani’s, both had a nice flavour of coffee, but the sweetness of Baskin’s and the icy-ness of Giani’s couldn’t make them compete for the first position.
Naturals and Nirulas had great combinations, but the uneven and chunky walnuts and very mellow flavour of coffee made Naturals undesirable, leaving Nirulas to wear the crown.