Gelato Jonny 20 – Best of British

British Ice Cream: With the implementation of the long discussed Brexit coinciding with ongoing lockdown conditions it suddenly seems that the world is not such a small place after all.  Many of us have become much more focused on what is happening in our local areas.  Some of us may not have even left our village or town for weeks or even months.  Perhaps you have been exploring footpaths within five minutes walk of your door, which you never knew existed. Or maybe you have been buying from local shops selling local produce, or even picking up a click and collect order from your local pub car park! The prospect of travelling further afield even beyond the parish or county boundaries now seems like a major event.  So what has this got to do with making gelato you might ask?

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In view of us focusing on our local areas I thought it might be interesting to turn the spotlight this month onto celebrating all things British and how we can transfer that to the ice cream cabinet.  With so much negativity in the news it felt like we should highlight some of the advantages of being part of our island nation. Whilst sad news and new challenges have hit many families and businesses across the UK, there have been some good news stories to come out of our restricted movements.  The word to summarise this is probably ‘community’.  Community doesn’t necessarily mean your local area, it might mean a group with similar interests or perhaps for us it is all about being part of the ice cream community.

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As we have heard one winner to come out of all this is the environment.  With less travelling by car and air, pollution has been reduced.  We can continue to help with this by minimising our food miles and looking to local and UK suppliers for ice cream ingredients, cones and decorations. We can also take some inspiration from local customs, recipes and traditions.

Port-Gentil Regional Cakes & Desserts

I was thinking about what it means to be British – what do we miss in the current environment?  Maybe having a drink with friends in the local pub, playing sport with our team mates or simply having a cup of tea and a cake with friends or family outside our households.  Our culture is made up of many communities all with their own traditions, often centred around recipes.  Discussing with colleagues (sadly not face to face but via Teams) I have created a list of some of our classic British recipes which we could use as inspiration for our ice cream and gelato creations.  These may even build on any excess stock you have left over as we discussed last month.

Cakes from the Counties

  • Victoria Sponge
  • Carrot Cake
  • Lemon Drizzle
  • Welsh Cakes
  • Scones with jam and cream
  • Battenburg
  • Dundee Cake
  • Parkin
  • Bakewell
  • Coffee & Walnut Cake
  • Gingerbread

I am sure you have your own favourite cake even if it is chocolate covered crispies, or maybe a tray bake such as flapjack or millionaires shortbread.  Why not use one or several of these as inspiration for your gelato?  When the vaccine has been distributed and the great British public is finally released maybe it is familiarity that they will seek for reassurance that their favourite things have not been lost.  Maybe you favour desserts more than cakes or feel they would fit better with our brand or local market.  There are plenty of regional variations on these too.  Here are a few to whet your appetite…

Delicious Desserts

  • Apple Crumble
  • Rhubarb and Custard
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Spotted Dick
  • Jam Roly Poly
  • Strawberries and Cream
  • Treacle Tart
  • Eton Mess

Of course there are other cultural influences too, which may lead you to look at something like kulfi or pineapple fritters – when you start to think about it the list is endless.  However don’t get too carried away – maybe start with one or two and see how they are received.  If you are operating a click and collect or delivery service you may find that these are even more popular with customers consuming your gelato in their own home, like a home made cake or pudding.

For those of you on the coast you could take inspiration from your local industry and create a fish and chip gelato – I am not suggesting you actually put real fish and potatoes into your ice cream, but what about chocolate fish and chips?

I will leave you to contemplate what your local favourites might be.  I am off to figure out how I can make a gelato based on Eccles cakes – a local favourite and the location of the Antonelli bakery.

As always if you need some tips on how to incorporate your base into a regional dessert or local cake recipe then you know where to find me.  Change is afoot whether we like it or not so let’s embrace it and see what positives we can take from it.  Celebrate your local culture, be proud to be British and fly the flag for our industry.

See you next time for the latest scoop.

Jonny Antonelli’s National Technical Manager Jonny Ireland is a regular contributor to the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…

See how this article looked in the March 2021 Edition of the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…

british ice cream

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