As flavors and culinary innovation tend to travel beyond the boundaries of their origin country, let’s explore the ever-popular dessert “rolling” from country to country—Thai rolled ice cream.
We live in a world where culinary globalization is taking center stage, but the beautiful thing about this is the essence is not removed from the culture from which the new food concept arrived. Part of the mission of globalization has been to preserve the elaboration process, but also implement the local culture into the mix. The increasingly popular trend of Thai rolled ice cream has been rolling into different countries, taking over Colombia, Spain, London, Brasil, and the United States to name a few. This concept is not something new; it has been a street favorite for years, it’s also known as stir-fried ice cream, “I-Tim-Pad,” “ไอติมผัด” in Thai, ice pan ice cream, rolled ice cream, or ice cream rolls. Thai rolled ice cream is regularly served in Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The concept is as simple as its name, consisting of rolls of ice cream that are placed in an ice cream cup. It allows for the addition of as many toppings as desired for increased aesthetic and palate appeal, giving you a new way of presenting a distinctive dessert. The process to make Thai rolled ice cream is simple. They simply require a few extra elements that may be readily available in your pantry. According to www.forbes.com, the process takes about two minutes, where the prep staff pours a cup of flavored milk-based liquid on the extremely cold metal circle that looks like a big pizza pan (some places use dry ice to chill it, others run coolant underneath that plunges the temperature well below zero). As the base freezes, it’s manipulated with little paddles, like kneading bread, and then spread out across the big circle. Once the ice cream evenly covers the circle, the prep staff pushes a spatula across it and turns strips of the now frozen liquid ice cream base into rolls. With so many countries following this trend, it’s no wonder Maria Isabel Duran, owner of Heladeria Maca Asian Roll Ice, Bogotá, Colombia, brought the first shop of this kind to her city. Maria Isabel and her husband have had a long connection with the Asian culture. Being in the food industry for many years through different types of Asian-inspired restaurants, they knew they wanted to tap on the ice cream industry, but they wanted to offer more than just scoops.
Bringing their passion for the industry but also the culture, one of their friends showed them a video of a “crazy way” of presenting ice cream. As soon as they saw the technique, the couple knew they had found their perfect match. Maria and her husband investigated and after a few months of hard work and having PreGel Colombia as not only their ingredient provider, but also their source of training and consultancy, they were able to open their shop. At first, the couple thought kids were going to be the ones attracted by this new way of eating their favorite treat, but day after day, they realized that adults were the ones that enjoyed not only the flavor combinations and the opportunity to personalize it, but the spectacle itself. Thai rolled ice cream has proven to be a delicious option for customers looking for a different dessert experience. A single liquid mix, a few toppings, and a collection of different flavors create a wide array of flavor combinations, giving your customers a way to invent and reinvent new flavors. According to www.telemadrid.es, a Spain-language broadcast resource, the recently opened Thai Scoops shop in Madrid, Spain has 30 different types of ice cream roll combinations, and their selections keep growing. Some countries have put their own spin on the kinds of toppings utilized for Thai rolled ice cream. In the United States, some of the most popular toppings are pieces of classic candy bars, and in places like Colombia, the traditional arequipe, a.k.a. dulce de leche, has become a staple in fruit and chocolate combinations. Aside from its amazing look and taste, the dessert aspect of Thai rolled ice cream is not the only reason for its popularity. The frozen dessert concept has also proven to be an enjoyable form of entertainment as well. Social media platforms such as Instagram showcase an array of amusing videos and pictures featuring different businesses that highlight this trend as a menu option. There are countless international “street foods” that have been trending for years, many of which earn international acclaim for their uniqueness in taste, texture, or design. Thai rolled ice cream successfully added some flair to one of America’s favorite sweet treats. With its undeniable popularity, consider this trend as your next “innovation dessert.”