Imagine my surprise when one of my colleagues told me that there was a place called “Australian Ice Cream” in Antigua – of all places. She raved about the ice cream, and expected me to know all about it – of course I had never heard of it.
She sniffed around for more information, and it turns out that “Australian Homemade” is a Belgian ice cream and chocolate franchise that gets its ingredients from Australia. I heaped scorn on this idea: if you have access to Belgian cows, why would you import cream from Australia?
Las Saturday, on my way to Barbados, having booked my flight quite late, I had the worst connections in history:
- depart St Kitts at 8.15am for the 20 minute flight to Antigua
- 7 hours in Antigua
- depart Antigua around 4.30pm for the 1 hour 20 min flight to St Lucia
- 5 hours in St Lucia
- arrive in Barbados around 11.30pm
Naturally, the only choice I had was to go exploring on my transit visits, and of course to scoff ice cream (which I did twice, and then again when I visited Antigua for a meeting the following week). It is important, my friends, to fully appreciate my love of ice cream. I adore it so much that I own my own ice cream maker, and am prepared to pay $20 a tub for New Zealand’s Kohu Road Cookies and Cream ice cream. I am often joined in my celebration of ice cream, and my good friend Kim and I were known to spend numerous nights scoffing pizza and Baskin Robbins ice cream (packed tight in large, groaning take-home packs) in front of DVDs of Sex and the City and The West Wing. I cried when the local Baskin Robbins closed in Lane Cove. Even though it’s now open in Chatswood, you can’t tell me it’s the same as having a BR in your very own suburb.
So, off I went to Australian Ice Cream in Antigua. The advertising was a smidge…well…porno. However, I am pleased to tell you that the product itself was gooood. Too much ice cream these days is over-whipped and do full of air it lacks real creaminess. This was creamy and the quality of ingredients was obvious. Plus, there were plenty of flavours to choose from: raspberry yoghurt, pear sorbet, macadamia crunch…
I did some research, and it turns out that they source ingredients from all over the world (macadamias from Australia, natch) but that the recipes were inspired by the founder’s mother making ice cream in the Australian outback in 1972. There are stores in places like Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and even New York. The story is here: http://web.australianhomemade.com/history_1989_en.html
So, even though we don’t have this franchise on our shores back in Oz, I think we can be happy that this particular franchise is doing our country proud!