Emperor Nero had runners bring him ice from faraway mountains. Normally abstemious Mughal emperors had horsemen bring ice from the Himalayas for the imperial dessert. And just yesterday a girl despatched a basket tied to a rope to the street several floors below, where awaited the kulfi wallah. Even with the modest among us, restraints come crashing down before the honest urge for drafts of a cool treat in the beating heat. We flail, issue orders and develop impossible affections for whoever delivers us out of the momentary misery. Yet there are higher orders of torment – the agony we must endure in the minutes before we are united with the supreme regent of all iced dainties, the ice cream.
I would compare an ice cream to a chin on the shoulder, a familial embrace, distinct from the cordial handshake of just any cooler. Ironic that the decidedly sub-zero ice cream should warm the heart and I’ve concluded it has to do with millions of secrets trapped inside every scoop. These are nothing but pockets of air, but it means half of very mouthful of ice cream, is really a mouthful of air. If we love ice cream, we love air or maybe the special urgency of trapped air that we, the chivalrous knights of the good life, take pleasure in setting free. At this level then, ice creams make out a case we are not naturally given to consider: we love life. Especially when it comes whipped up in sweetened milk.
With the heat building up, it’s just the time to curl up with ice creams made the way mother would. You can almost feel the hugs with the ice creams now laid out at Taj Bano Courtyard at Agra’s ITC Mughal where a range of all natural dreamy foams will cool you down and pick you up. Jaipur too has a special line up of treats – head to Chandravanshi Pavilion at ITC Rajputana for ice creams that sing with the flavours of the season and many other fancies. Discover new shades of bliss with black currant, banana caramel, Alphonso ‘n’ cream and almond praline.
Don’t blame me if you develop an impossible affection.
For more information, please visit the Gourmet Guide.