“Melting in a Bowl”

To say the least, it’s magical. The way it comes to being is a mystery to me by choice because – like most things magical – not knowing the methods makes it all the more alluring. It’s baffling that something so cold to the touch could be so comforting.

It doesn’t come as a surprise when something that’s loved globally has so many different variations and, of course, everyone has their preferences. Maybe you like it melting atop a warm serving of freshly baked apple crumble or you’re like me and prefer it to complement a rich slice of chocolate cake or a thick piece of brownie. You might even like it with some fruit salad after a spicy lunch, though I always have it without the fruit.

Is it possible that I could ever love anything more than I love ice-cream?

I doubt I could and I think, I’ve a few good reasons. Sure – like most food – ice-cream can’t really ask you anything nor does it really understand your feelings, hence, my relationship with ice-cream is casual but extremely reliable. It’s just good company and that’s all we need sometimes.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to get ice-cream from a shop or a restaurant which means I could’ve some on short notice. With something so cold – almost numbing – is there really a need to be too picky with the flavour? I don’t think so. When it comes to choosing a Magnum, I tend to stick to the classic or the almond flavour. I also try to uphold a secret birthday ritual where I go out to get waffles with vanilla ice-cream.

Flavours and other personal preferences aside, I believe, the texture of an ice-cream can potentially be a deal-breaker. I’m not talking about the texture you get from a rocky road ice-cream nor a simpler chocolate chip flavour. I’m talking about ice crystals. In some instances, ice crystals are there because the ice-cream wasn’t frozen quickly enough or churned consistently enough. Other instances of ice crystals are due to freezer burns. Essentially, ice crystals are water particles that gather and freeze together instead of being evenly distributed into a creamier, consistent mixture. Apart from the occasional ice crystal crisis, I’d say that my relationship with ice-cream is going steady for now.

Lately, homemade ice-cream recipes have invaded half of my Pinterest feed. Usually involving frozen bananas and milk, you can make almost any flavour you fancy. Though it might be easier to buy it from the shop, homemade ice-cream – and other homemade food – allows us to engage with our diet directly. It pushes you to be aware about what goes in your body and it’s easier to track your health that way. For those who have food allergies or simply choose not to consume certain food, making food at home is the best way to keep up a transparent diet.

Conspicuously, ice-cream is comforting in the way it was always a treat for us as children and entails cheerful memories with family and friends. As a child, I had – and still do – look up to my cousin, and teaching me to love ice-cream is among one of the most important things he taught me.

Words by Yasmine Saleem