I Don’t Love It: European Ice Cream Blasphemy

by farrah on June 14, 2013 · 5 comments

I’m back for round two of the Celebrate Travel blog carnival sponsored by The Mother of all TripsWalking On Travels, and WanderMom. Every month they’re going to have a little party in honor of a different quirky holiday in the way that we best love: By sharing a curated list of themed blog posts from travel bloggers.

Being National Ice Cream Month- June is time to talk about Ice Cream! But wait. What’s wrong with me?

I’m just going to duck right off the bat and say it—> I don’t really like ice cream. Whaaaat? Blasphemy!

I know it. I’m crazy, right? What’s not to like? And being over here in Europe where apparently ice cream is the ‘thing’ I am missing the ice cream gene. I want to like it- I do. My kids are bananas for it- and what’s not to like? It’s cold, creamy, refreshing…. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

The boys in Oisterwijk enjoying their ‘ijs’


When we arrived here at the beginning of November I thought it was strange that everywhere we went people were pushing ice cream on us. It was NOVEMBER. ice3Why did places even carry ice cream? Back in South Carolina (where it was also easily 30 degrees warmer) the ice cream shop in town was already closed for the season- so I didn’t understand why they were still open here where it’s even colder.

ice2Ice cream is served with pretty much every meal for dessert. With kids meals it’s often just part of their order- we saw this to be the case also in Germany. Call me a Scrooge, but there are times I tell the waitress or server ‘You can skip the ice cream’ in a whisper and they look at me confused. WHY DON”T I WANT THE ICE CREAM??

For starters: to me it tastes weird. I think it has to do with the milk- or the smaller amount of salt. Like my friend Ann from Travel Turtle I would prefer to spend the 7 euros on Ben & Jerry’s because it tastes like the ice cream I’m used to. IF I want ice cream at all. Maybe I’m lactose intolerant? It makes me nauseous if I eat too much of it… but cheese doesn’t. So now I’m confused.

When I was in Lucca, Italy I passed by shop after shop selling gelato. I tried- I really and truly tried to want that stuff, but again, (missing gene) I didn’t. I wasn’t even concerned with what it tasted like… if anything it just looked messy.

And then I started to see things about ice cream everywhere- this spring we were lucky to get out of the 50s and rain so why on earth anyone was talking about ice cream was beyond me– but there it was. I saw a blurb from Visit Finland saying Finns are one of the world’s largest consumers of ice cream per capita. That was odd. Considering I’m also 50% Finn I don’t like ice cream. And isn’t Finland, uh, cold? Why do people want to eat cold things where it’s cold?


My boys are absolutely in love with the ice cream shops here, and I have to admit- they do serve it nicely to kids with a little drippy sleeve thing on the cone (which I don’t understand why we never saw it in the US) and the shops are adorable.

Maybe it’s because I grew up with ice cream as an American staple- I take it for granted and don’t see it as a novelty. Ha. Novelty ice cream, anyone? And for the record I was an ice cream truck driver my last summer in high school. THAT is a story for another day.

Do you like ice cream when it’s cold? What’s your favorite flavor?


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess June 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I actually think it makes more sense to eat ice cream when it isn’t super hot – otherwise it melts and gets everywhere!

And now I really want to visit Finland.


2 farrah June 16, 2013 at 6:00 am

You know- that’s actually a really good point. Maybe the reason I don’t like it is that the mess stresses me out 🙂


3 Ann June 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm

We were told when we first moved here that we should drink warm drinks on a hot summer day so that our body doesn’t work so hard and generate more heat. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but coming from Florida where it’s hot more frequently than it is here and we drink iced tea…

Anyway, maybe that’s why people in cold climates eat ice cream.


4 farrah June 16, 2013 at 6:01 am

Got it. Personally I am really, really missing my good old South Carolina iced tea. It’s just not the same here… but then again it’s not as hot either so I guess I’m ok 🙂


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