7 Traditional Ice Cream Recipes Worth Dying For

7 Ice Cream Recipes Worth Dying For

Now that the weather is warmer, well at least theoretically, we’re beginning to feel obsessed over frozen treats. Ice cream is universal, indeed! From the French sorbets, to the Turkish dondurma and Indian smooth and locally flavored ice cream, taking a world tour just to try as many as you can sounds like the perfect plan. So here they are: 7 traditional ice cream recipes worth dying for!

Who was behind this brilliant idea?

Well is appears that the Chinese elite used to really enjoy their frozen desserts about 4,000 years ago. It all began with frozen syrups, but as they became hooked, they invented a method that could make ice cream before the invention of any refrigerator: “They poured a mixture of snow and saltpeter over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup, for, in the same way as salt raises the boiling-point of water, it lowers the freezing-point to below zero,” according to the History of Food, by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat. The Persians enjoyed it big time as well. And finally, when the Arabs invaded Sicily in the 8th century, the obsession was passed on.

The ice cream recipe was brought to North America in 1744 by Scottish colonists. Nowadays Americans and Australians are the most dedicated ice cream eaters in the world, but nevertheless almost every country enjoys it and adapts it to local culinary inclinations.

Strange, strange flavors, but yet so appealing…

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India’s kulfi is very dense and somewhat granular due to a mix of condensed milk, sugar and exotic flavors like saffron and cardamom. Its particularly dense texture resembles custard and it is a consequence of the milk being boiled down to a thick liquid.

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Turkey’s stretchy ice cream is definitely unique. This ice cream called dondurma has a similar pliability to taffy. And the sellers always make a show when you pass by. It is made with salep, which is ground orchid root, a substance that gives the ice cream a curious elasticity.

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Israel’s halva ice cream will raise your blood sugar to its peaks. As some of you may have heard, or even tried, halva is very sweet, yet irresistibly tasteful. It’s a simple treat made from sesame seeds mashed into a sugar-and-honey paste.

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Japan’s mochi is definitely something else. It’s good old ice cream mixed with mochi (a rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain rice). Actually the ice cream is wrapped in mochi, which is dusted with cornstarch on the outside. You should try the green tea and red bean flavors.

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Tuscany’s olive oil gelato is made, according to its name, using olive olive oil along with cheese, seasonal fruit and grapes. It’s the creamiest ice cream you’ll ever taste! Italians are very fond of their natural resources and they like to make everything with ingredients bought from their local providers using their traditional products, and this gelato is the perfect example of the efficient Italian cooking.

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Germany’s spaghetti-ice is a 1960 invention that basically puts vanilla ice cream through a potato or meat ricer. The resulting spaghetti dish is topped with strawberry jam, which serves as tomato sauce and coconut flakes or white chocolate shavings that stand for the Parmesan cheese.

Save the best for last

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Dear reader, here’s something special for you. In case you don’t have a sweet tooth, think again. There’s something called Creamed Cod Ice Cream and it can be eaten at George’s Portobello Fish Bar in London. It looks just like the hot and traditional Fish&Chips, London’s pride dish, but instead of steaming fried fish, it’s actually vanilla ice cream coated with a pepper-vanilla batter and then deep-fried. The chips you see in the picture above are made from potato ice cream. This is definitely a taste to remember.

All you need is sun and an empty stomach. Bon appetit!

Creativity at its Best- 7 Infographics Done Right

Whether you have stumbled across infographics yet or you’re just getting acquainted with the term, there are some things you need to know about these amazing ways of getting the message across efficiently and interestingly. Data visualization is difficult to design and although they may look simple to create, they are anything but easy. So here are some of the best examples we have come across for you to get inspired from:

1. How to Become a Superhero

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Source: http://ziasomjee.com/projects/how-to-be-a-superhero-an-illustrated-guide/

There are maybe some of us who still dream of becoming superheroes and in order to come to the aid of such people, Zia Somjee decided to create this absolutely adorable infographic that makes sure that all the bases are covered, from superhero costume to back story or nemesis. Complete with pro tips and clever ideas, it’s the superhero-to-be bible.

2. Green Technology and Green Growth

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Source: worldbank.org/inclusivegreengrowth

You don’t have to be an environmentalist to wonder if there are efforts being made to ensure that your children’s children will live in a world where trees exist and where the air is still breathable. So The World Bank decided to publish this infographic in order to raise awareness and make us become interested in the future of our planet. Clean information on a clean infographic. What more could you want?

3. Google Searches- What We Search For and How We Appear on Google

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Source: www.elkanodata.com

Few of us have given Google searches much thought and while this may not seem crucial at first, we have come to live in the age of information and if you think that employers don’t check your Facebook profiles and don’t Google you before inviting you to join their business, you are gravely mistaken. Search Engine Land have therefore created this infographic that doesn’t just show you how Google searches work, but that also teaches you how you should modify your online presence so that it brings out the best in you.

4. The Fries that Bind Us

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While we are all aware of the power that fast food has over us, few actually know how much such food actually enters our bodies. So Flaming Toast Productions  decided to quantify the number of stores found in each country for both McDonald’s and Starbucks and the results are mind-boggling. McDonald’s earns a whopping 41$ Billion in sales while Starbucks only makes $4.1 billion in comparison. And while it’s not shocking that the USA has more than 10,000 McDonald’s restaurants and 1,000 Starbucks shops, it is shocking that Africa represents the sole source for coffee, sugar and cups but has no single Starbucks shop open within the borders of its many countries.

5. What Americans Spend Their Paychecks On

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Whether it sparks your curiosity or not, Visual Economics decided to publish an infographic showcasing the average spending habits of Americans. And it’s no surprise that aside from housing and transportation, food would be at the top of the list.

6. The Epic Battle- Bill Gates vs. Batman

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Source: FrugalDad

While it’s an odd battle to say the least (and few of us would have actually thought of this pair-up), there’s clear merit to the initiative. There are so few people who actually know that Bill Gates has contributed immensely to the improvement of overall life quality worldwide and that his charitable work is more than noteworthy.

7. Color and Purchases- Do We Buy Differently When Colors Vary?

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Source: KissMetrics

Shopaholics may have found their get-out-of-jail-free card! The creators of this infographic (KISSmetrics) decided to showcase the intimate relationship between colors and and purchases. So now you know why fast-food places or malls paint their walls similarly and why red, yellow and orange are go-to colors for huge sales.

We hope you enjoyed these infographics. If you liked them we’d gladly add more in the future!

Famous Femme Fatale Figures that Could Charm the Life Out of You

Even if the media insists on portraying women, sometimes, as naïve and vulnerable creatures who need all the help they can get, popular lore and culture also occasionally depicts women as devious and dangerous. There are many ways in which women can be dangerous and deadly: either by being downright skilled in battle and badass, or through more subtle means pertaining to seduction. A femme fatale is a woman you can’t resist, that uses her charm and feminine allure to obtain her often hidden purpose. Although typically conceived as a villain, a femme fatale may be a victim herself, or may try to help others or the greater good through her questionable methods. So while calling femme fatale figures evil may be an overstatement, morally ambiguous would be a more appropriate label. If the femme fatale archetype would be a computer game character, it would display a chaotic neutral alignment, let’s say.

Ever since Delilah, the biblical femme fatale that continued to inspire people to this day (if Tom Jones is to be given credit for trying), the figure of this somewhat ruthless seductress is still a fascinating topic for a whole array of narratives. Here are a few of the most famous femme fatale figures that history and fiction have to offer.

1. Mata Hari

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She is possibly the best known femme fatale figure that was also a real historical person and her story was so scandalous and well-known to the masses in the WWII period that it would just be improper not to start this short list with her. Mata Hari (born Margaretha Geertruida Zeele) was a Dutch educated woman who moved to the Dutch East Indies after getting married young (as was the custom). There, disappointed in her abusive husband, she found solace in studying the Indonesian and Malay language and arts. After a while, she moved to Paris and became an exotic dancer under the stage name of Mata Hari (which means “sun” in Malay). She is considered to be one of the first modern dance artists and the first one to attempt her kind of oriental-inspired moves and costumes, and with such a high degree of skin exposure. In other words, the woman was scandalous. The scandal grew even bigger when, during the WWWII, she was arrested and executed by the French troops for being a secret agent and spy for the German forces. The truth of the accusation remains unknown, but the tale contributed to her femme fatale aura and lit up the imagination of the public to this day.

2. Delilah

What would a list of famous femme fatale figures be without the original one, Delilah? Delilah, unlike many of the Bible’s characters, wasn’t yet proven to be based on any historical person and therefore passes as completely fictional. Her very name means “[she who] weakened” and her story is told as a warning to men not to fall prey to devastating charms, or else look what might happen. The infamous deed that put the “fatal” in the femme fatale in this case is the fact that she betrayed Samson, the powerful man who loved her, and cut his hair thus magically removing all of his strength.

3. The Siren

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Another popular theme that continues to be prominent in popular culture today is the siren. Everyone’s familiar to the beautiful sea maids with a lower fish body that sing sailors to their deaths, but not many know that folklore sometimes meets historical rumors with surprising creativity. For example, the whole branch of Luxembourgish royalty claimed, in old times, to have Melusina, a powerful river mermaid, as their ancestor. Together with her husband, Count Siegfried, they founded the city of Luxembourg’s castle and court. If her supernatural origin were to be true, that would make her the ancestor of not only Luxembourg, but of most other branches of European royal families as well, including the ruling British Queen Elisabeth. Puts a nice perspective on Prince Harry’s fascinating charms, doesn’t it?

4. Morgan le Fay

This time, we’re exploring Irish and Welsh mythology. Although Morgan le Fay is mainly known as King Arthur’s evil half-sister and sorceress, in Irish lore she is called Morrigaine and she’s something between a banshee and the leader of the (mostly good) fairies.

5. Eve

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No list of famous femme fatale figures could be complete without the lovely temptress who doomed and bore us all: Eve and her lovely red apple. The scene of Adam’s seduction has been the subject of numerous paintings and literary pieces and continues to fascinate to this day.

Cinco de Mayo: A Look into a Mixed Holiday’s Background

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Since it’s almost the beginning of May and in the U.S. that means Cinco de Mayo will soon be here, perhaps now is a good time to delve a bit into the background of this odd holiday. The label of odd comes here because of the ambiguous status of this relatively recent and quite fabricated holiday. Don’t misunderstand us: there’s nothing wrong with yet another reason for a pretty public celebration, or with giving a cultural minority an opportunity to express itself. Nor is there anything wrong with drinking tequila and sampling various kinds of enchiladas and generally eating guacamole on anything until you’re ready to burst. Nope, there’s definitely nothing wrong with those at all, scout’s honor.

A slight problem arises mainly when people are confronted with the question “What exactly is celebrated on the 5th of May, or during Cinco de Mayo?”, because this is where things usually become blurry and tricky.  Many wrongly believe it’s the date when Mexico celebrates its Independence Day: while that may indeed be the most important patriotic holiday in Mexico, it is actually way later in the yearly span, on September the 16th. Even more, Cinco de Mayo isn’t really that much of a big deal south of the U.S. border; the main celebrations are held on American soil. Think that’s strange? The reason for this is that, actually, Cinco de Mayo is a sort-of “fabricated” holiday for the territory of the ‘states, meant to give the Mexican-Americans an occasion to celebrate their identity with pride. There is a smaller holiday in Mexico that the larger one in U.S. is based on, El Dia de la Batalia de la Puebla  (The Day of the Battle of Puebla), commemorating a victory against French troops, but that original holiday is so small-scale that it doesn’t really matter much. It’s not even celebrated in all of Mexico, but just one state and area, where the historic event occurred.

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Since it’s such less of a big deal in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is now understandably a holiday with relevance for the Mexican-Americans first and foremost. It makes sense, actually, since they were the ones deeper into not always friendly territory, and needed to find a way of asserting their identity, preferably in a cultural and creative way. And what better way could it be than this wonderful collection of colorful parades, singing and dancing and all the spicy Mexican food and drinks you can muster? Probably none. It’s completely understandable how Cinco de Mayo rose to prominence so quickly in the U.S. The holiday existed since 1860, but it became popular sometime in the 40s, along with the rise of the Chicano movement (which emphasized a pride of one’s Latino identity).

But was the sudden popularity of Cinco de Mayo only related to the rise of the Chicano movement? Unfortunately, whenever there’s a celebration, there’s always some corporate interests involved, at least since the second half of the 20th century and to this day. Grand American companies that specialized in consumer goods like food and drink saw a major opportunity in capitalizing any holiday man can think of, and Cinco de Mayo was no exception. Especially a beer giant was involved in a bit of controversy about aggressively promoting its beverage on behalf of the Mexican holiday and community, but then again, it would be hard not to find a holiday that wasn’t capitalized upon in a similar manner.

The morale of this story, folks, if we’re permitted to suggest one, is that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your Mexican food and drinks this upcoming May, even if they’re advertised by all-too-eager commercial interests, but a least let’s pay better attention to history. Taking part in the celebration is always nice and even a bit mandatory if we’re to be respectful to the minority celebrating it, but you know what would be even more respectful? Not confusing Cinco de Mayo any more with their Independence Day, for instance. That being said, enjoy the fiesta!

How Does Smoking Affect the Cost of Life Insurance? [Infographic]

This infographic, provided by LifeInsure.co.uk, shows us just how much smoking affects the cost of life insurance. Click the image to enlarge it.
life insurance infographic
Here’s some irony for you as revealed by this graphic: for most smokers, the increase in their life insurance premiums is greater than the amount they actually spend on cigarettes every year.  Yup, if you’re a smoker, your wallet probably hates you.