The ice cream evolution

#44 Food ice cream evolution

Recently, we’ve seen many new ice cream parlours. How much has ice cream changed over the years?

By Cleon Ong

As Singaporeans, food is definitely something that is always on our minds. No matter where we go or what we do, we’ll try to find the best bite.

But have you ever wondered how some of our favourite food came to be?

Almost all Singaporeans love ice cream, no matter the flavour or brand. Sometimes, we may crave for the more pricey ones such as Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs.

We bring you the ‘evolution’ of ice cream, for all you ice cream lovers.

In the beginning

Indeed, ice cream has a long history. Ice cream started off as a simple flavoured ice pop.

Vendors would freeze soft drinks such as Coke and Sprite to make ice pop.

Although these ice pops are hardly seen nowadays, certain convenience stalls still stock them.

Rainbow Bread

Then, wafer ice cream was introduced to Singapore. A rectangular block of ice cream is sandwiched between two wafer biscuits. It may sound simple but it is certainly satisfying, especially on warm days.

With flavours such as Raspberry, Yam, Durian, and Chocolate Mint, you’d be sure to find a flavour that satisfies you. Today, there are still ice cream vendors with cycle-carts who sell ice cream in a wafer.

Shortly after, bread was also used apart from the wafer biscuit. To make it more attractive and tasty for consumers, colouring and sweeteners were used in the bread.

Ice Cream on a Stick

Around the same time, the brand “Ice Potong” was also introduced to Singapore. The ice cream comes in a rectangular block mounted on a wooden stick. Flavours such as Red Bean, Yam, and Chendol suited local tastes and it quickly became one of Singaporeans’ favourite ice creams, even until today.

#44 Food ice cream evolution

25-cent Ice Cream

Next came ice cream in cones, mainly from fast food chains. Fast food outlets began selling ice cream cones. There was even a period of time when McDonald’s sold soft-serve ice cream cones for a mere $0.25 each.

These soft-serve ice cream cones can be easily found at the many fast food outlets in Singapore. Apart from fast food chains, individual ice cream vendors also started selling ice cream cones.

Root beer float

For those who are old enough, do you remember when A&W was in Singapore? The American fast food chain is famous for its delicious Coney Dog, Curly Fries, Waffles with Ice Cream and, of course, the A&W Root Beer Float.

A mug of root beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the A&W Root Beer Float was a match made in heaven. Sadly, A&W restaurants can’t be found in Singapore any longer. Nonetheless, the root beer float can be found in many Western restaurants.

If you are craving for A&W food or Root Beer Float, you can drive across the Causeway when you have the time.

Hot Ice Cream?

What about deep-fried ice cream? These were usually sold in Western food stalls and restaurants. The ice cream is coated with flour and bread, and then deep fried. At the end, you get a hot and crispy coating wrapped around the cold and delicious ice cream.

Ice Cream in the Present

Nowadays, ice cream parlours can be found all over Singapore. Everyone is finding new ways to improve the ice cream experience.

New flavours such as Gula Melaka, Lychee Sorbet, Pulut Hitam, and many others, continue to delight Singaporeans. Many also go for add-ons and have ice cream with brownies, pancakes, waffles and so on.

All these ice cream shops popping up, and never-ending new flavours, show that there are myriad ice cream options for Singaporeans, and the future of ice cream in Singapore remains bright.

Will there be new ice cream inventions or innovations in the future? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, why not get your licks at your nearest ice cream store?