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Artisanal Ice Creams

Here’s the scoop on the most whimsical, small-batch, craft ice creams in Kolkata

It’s impossible to give a cold shoulder to the city's gourmet ice creams

My Kolkata Web Desk | Published 28.03.22, 07:55 PM


Craft ice cream is fast gaining ground over the cold comfort of a store-bought slab. Kolkata now boasts a variety of expert-run brands that prioritise natural ingredients, vegan alternatives, diet-friendly options and big flavours. These spunky, gourmet options (rather unfairly side-lined as hipster fads) have found prominence in the city as buyers are steering away from preservatives, chemicals, artificial colours, essences, or hard stabilisers in their pints.

Mostly made in small batches, artisanal ice creams in the city are curated by seasoned chefs or dessert makers, who are weaning away from the cloyingly saccharine flavour profiles offered by most upmarket brands, to introduce balanced, intelligent notes. Here’s a guide to the city’s top home-made, craft ice creams…


The Fat Little Penguin

(L-R) Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches, Baked Alaska and After Dark ice cream from The Fat Little Penguin

(L-R) Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches, Baked Alaska and After Dark ice cream from The Fat Little Penguin


This Tollywood-approved brand is owned by Jayatri Biswas, a trained pastry chef from Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts, who has worked under celebrated New York pastry maker Dominique Ansel (the inventor of the cronut!).

“I wanted to find out why the ice cream I’d consumed here tasted so different from the ones I found overseas. I knew I had to recreate, rediscover and re-introduce ice creams and what they could and should be like. Just because ice cream is meant to be eaten frozen, doesn’t mean it can’t be fresh. That’s when the idea of working with small batches came to me. It has no preservatives, additives, colour and zero artificial flavouring,” shares Biswas of TFLP.

Biswas has dedicated her brand to create ‘the perfect complex scoop’, often achieved by infusing a variety of notes and by endless rounds of trial and error to help contrasting elements fit together — like the sugar-free caramel and the cream cheese jalapeno sandwiches they created last year.

The dessert maker is not removed from the challenges of marketing a niche product.

“The biggest challenge we faced initially was to explain our price point and educate the clientele about what makes our ice cream different from a mass-manufactured one. Words didn’t do justice till they tasted it for themselves. Our ice creams pack a punch with flavour and a creamy texture that can be only credited to the use of superior ingredients. Pop-ups and small tasting events helped in this regard and we had customers coming back for more,” Biswas explains.

For those watching their weight and blood sugar, you can satisfy your cravings with sugar-free flavours like Cold Coffee, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Caramel. They have even introduced a number of flavours in vegan and keto-friendly varieties.

MK pick: Blackforest — the classic dessert flavours of chocolate and cherry makes for a delectable ice cream that packs a tarty punch, complemented by the silky texture.

Chef’s picks: Raw Mango Chilli, After Dark, Mango Cheesecake, Strawberry Balsamic, the signature Baked Alaska, ice-cream sandwiches and handcrafted ice cream bon-bons.

Cherry, chocolate and cream — TFLP's Blackforest

Cherry, chocolate and cream — TFLP's Blackforest

Kookie Jar

Everyone knows Kookie Jar for its cakes and pastries, iconic Lemon Tarts and Chocolate Boats, but here’s the inside scoop… the home-made ice creams are worth melting for!

The artisan gourmet ice creams have a lush texture and come in six vibrant flavours — Belgian Chocolate, French Vanilla (pair it with the Apple Cinnamon Pie), Salted Caramel, Fresh Strawberry, Orange and Orange Rind, and Cappuccino. Homemade in small batches with natural ingredients and fresh dairy cream, the ice creams are 100 per cent eggless, free from preservatives, artificial flavours and colouring.

“We also make many other flavours on order and have introduced ice cream gift boxes that can be customised and curated as per one’s liking,” says Puja Kapur of the landmark confectionery.

Established in 1985, Kookie Jar introduced ice creams a few years ago and they are available at all five stores - Rawdon Street, Alipore, City Centre, Hindustan Park and the newest outlet at Rene Tower in Kasba.

MK picks: Belgian Chocolate and Cappuccino

Chef’s pick: Orange and Orange Rind

Below is a recipe you can try at home:

Olivia Creamery

(L-R) Chocolate Overload, Mango Cheesecake ice cream and Tiramisu Log from Olivia Creamery

(L-R) Chocolate Overload, Mango Cheesecake ice cream and Tiramisu Log from Olivia Creamery

Olivia Creamery

Olivia Creamery specialises in classic, nostalgic flavours inspired by youth and travel. Owned by Karan Chawla and Malika Chawla Batra, the brand features an assortment of comfort flavours, three sugar-free options and one vegan alternative.

“We strive to bring to Kolkata artisanal ice creams that we keep dreaming about. The vision of the brand is to bring happiness to everyone, from a little child to a grandparent,” says Karan Chawla.

Malika Chawla Batra, a pastry chef and a Le Cordon Bleu alum shares that the flavours are mostly inspired by her travels, which helps the brand attain a balance between global and homegrown aspects.

“We conceived the brand when we felt that there was a real market for premium ice creams in Kolkata and we don’t compromise on the quality at all. I like to blend international flavours with local favourites. It’s important to think global but work towards local priorities,” says the chef.

MK pick: Olivia’s latest ice cream range, the Mac-Cream, is inspired by creamy ice creams enveloped in French macaroons.

Chef’s picks: Nutella Mousse, Strawberry Cheesecake and Mango Cheesecake. There also is an ice cream dessert range with the likes of Chocolate Overload, Mint Oreo Ring and Tiramisu Log.

Last updated on 28.03.22, 08:02 PM

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