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It’s no secret that Asians love their greens, but that they even like ice cream in vegetable flavours may take some tourists aback.
The hot humidity in China in the summer times makes a chilled treat the perfect method of cooling down. First time visitors to China should take caution, however, if they are expecting something sweet and fruity.
The freezers are stacked with various flavours from local companies like Mengniu and Yili as well as international brands like Nestle and Wall’s. At one to two yuan ($0.15 - $0.30) a pop, it sounds like a cheap treat to beat the heat.
Imagine the look on some Westerner’s faces when they arrive in the sweltering heat next summer for the Olympics and discover that the crimson popsicle they just bit into is red bean flavour, not strawberry, raspberry or cherry like they may have expected.
Others may think they have just discovered a delicious mango flavour when they pluck yellow bars out of the freezer. Chinese sales clerks should begin bracing themselves now for the â€œearfulâ€ they might get from foreigners when their palates are shocked by the taste of corn.
The Westerner with some Oriental food savvy might think he’s just bought a traditional green tea ice cream, a delicious flavour that has made its way into ice creams and frappucinos in the west as well. Imagine their shock when their tongues are cooled by the healthy taste of peas instead.
Not bad if you know what to expect, but for those who aren’t prepared, it can be a rude surprise. Those wanting something a little more familiar can still opt for the creamy, traditional vanilla flavours, though they are disgustingly rich and taste more like frozen blocks of whipped cream.
Don’t bug the Chinese about their peculiar flavours though. Their love for the cool desserts is obviousâ€”1.4 million tons of ice cream is consumed annually. Nestle recognized this demand and created a range of odd flavours to be sold over seas, including smoked salmon, tomato, cucumber, garlic and avocado.