The ice cream sold in bakeries or supermarkets comes in all kinds of varieties, in sizes from single-serving cups to one-liter tubs. There are so many options that it gets overwhelming.
One of the products that’s been a favorite here forever is Kibon. In 1941, a company called U.S. Harkson opened up in Rio de Janeiro. They originally sold their ice cream under the name Sorvex Kibon. Eskibon (chocolate-coated cream) and Chikabon (chocolate) came out around that time, and they’re still being sold today—more than seventy years later.
Of course, you can find all of the fancy ice cream shops as well—places like Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s, and Bacio di Latte. They’re often set up in shopping malls, and are always thronged with customers.
Brazil has all kinds of fruit, and some places are selling natural ice cream made with it. One of the really popular ones is acai berry, a fruit native to the Amazon rainforest. The other day I was amazed to find a 3.6-kilo tub of it. Apparently, acai is good with cereal and bananas.
Some of the other delicious fruits they’ll add to ice cream are coconut, soursop (graviola), lychee, mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, and watermelon. You can even find corn and avocado.
Recently, I also discovered ice cream made with jabuticaba, another native Brazilian fruit. The berries are perfectly round, and the big ones are about three centimeters in diameter. The berries grow on the trunk and branches of the tree, creating quite a strange sight. There’s almost something creepy about seeing these dark berries clinging to the bark everywhere. Have a look for yourself and see.
In Brazil, September 23 is Ice Cream Day—apparently because it’s when the temperature starts to rise as we head towards summer. A lot of new products come out on Ice Cream Day, and shops offer special sale items.
All this talk about ice cream has made me want some!
Fun fact: the phrase for “eating ice cream” in Portuguese is tomar sorvete. Literally translated, it actually means to “drink” ice cream.