BENGALURU: In a pre-liberalized India fruit and ice creams only went together in the eponymous Tutti-Frutti, a canned fruit and two-in-one ice cream concoction and the bright pink strawberryice cream which had little to do with the fruit and was entirely a combination of sugar syrup and food colouring. It was actually the homegrown fruit cream seller and kulfiwallah who first combined seasonal fruits with dairy and chilled them to create delicious desserts. However, they remained local secrets. Legendary ice cream chains unwilling to let go of the fascination with American sundaes stuck to the vanilla ice cream, brownie, chocolate fudge sauce, chopped nut confections and these remain popular desserts of choice at a Corner House or Lake View Milk Bar. As gelatos, soft serves and myriad varieties of chocolate exploded on the dessert map of the world, Bengaluru was no stranger to these trends with international chains setting up shop here. However, in recent times a quiet revolution has been taking place in the world of ice creams as home-grown companies have discovered the treasures of local, seasonal fruits that are the bounty of our tropics. Combining Indian flavours and fruits with milk based ice creams have become quite the winning recipe for success. This week we showcase four popular fruit-based ice cream brands in the city:
Natural Ice Cream
This ice cream of the Juhu Scheme dates back to 1984 in Mumbai and opened its first outlets in Bengaluru in February 2010 in Koramangala, Jayanagar and St Mark's Road. Made with pure buffalo's milk and adhering to stringent quality checks, this chain churns out favourites like Tender Coconut, Sitaphal, Chickoo, Strawberry, Mango, Anjeer and in a hat tip to its local context, the wonderfully quirky Jackfruit and Jamun flavours as well. Every season brings in a new fruit and a new flavour. Natural has also introduced Indian mithai-inspired ice creams like thandai and malai which are great hits during the festive season. Available in Natural Ice Cream parlours across the city as single scoops priced at ` 50 and in 500 ml tubs priced at ` 230.
Bengaluru-based Sujata Parekh's ice creams take the concept of fresh and natural that one step further by specifically keeping in mind requirements of the Jain community and creating ice creams that are suited to their dietary restrictions. This 100 per cent vegetarian ice cream also believes in its organic approach with no emulsifiers, stabilizers or preservatives, thus ensuring its shorter shelf life but also its freshness. With special low cal options and a range of innovative and delicious flavours like Almond & Prunes, Red Wine & Fig, Gulqand, Fig, Rum & Almond and Filter Coffee, Orchard Fresh is a healthy and delicious sweet ending to your meal and is available in supermarkets as well as outlets in malls and stand alone parlours. A scoop of ice cream for a regular flavour starts at `55 while the family pack is priced around ` 230.
Swiss Naturals Ice Cream
Bengaluru's newest fruit-based ice cream chain is barely two months old and is already competing with the big guns. With its cheerful ice cream parlours in candy colours and its fresh, creamy and 100 per cent natural products without any additives or preservatives, these ice creams are a medley of seasonal fruits, milk and cane sugar. With flavours such as Tender Coconut, Chikoo, Custard Apple, Mango, Black Grapes as well as more traditional old-fashioned numbers like chocolate, mocha and butterscotch, Swiss Natural's promises Swiss-style goodness in Namma Bengaluru. Priced at ` 45 for a single scoop and ` 210 for a 500 ml tub, at the moment it is available in its outlets in Koramangala, Rajajinagar, Dasarahalli and Prakashnagar.
Pabrai's Fresh and Naturelle Ice Creams
Pabrai's has just launched its third outlet in the city in BTM Layout and is all set to jostle for space in this rapidly expanding fresh fruit ice cream segment. This Kolkata-based chain started off as a supplier to star hotels and restaurants before going into front-end retail with ice cream parlours across teh country. With seasonal fruits and 100 per cent natural ingredients, this ice cream brand has five categories of ice creams—Regular (includes flavours like Freshly brewed Coffee), Fresh Fruit (includes Honey Dew Melon), Indian Flavours (Includes their star flavour—Pabrai's Orginal Gur—a jaggery flavoured ice cream with a melted jaggery sauce), Spice Flavours (includes Wasabi ), Exotic Flavours (includes Bubblegum). Starting at ` 45 for a scoop and `250 for 500 ml, these ice creams will make you scream for more.