South has single scoops licked


TV3 reckons Te Kao store in Northland has the biggest licks of the ice cream variety.

I haven’t come across the five or six scoop whopper stoppers the story mentions but three Otago stores are hard to beat when it comes to the size of their single scoop ince creams.

Jamie Mackay asked listeners to the Farming Show last year for their nominations for biggest ice creams and the Hilltop Store in Hampden (north of Moeraki, south of Oamaru) came first.

Since then I’ve found a couple to rival it: a dairy in Lawrence (on a bend on the left hand side of the road when you’re heading inland) and one in the middle of Roxburgh, also on the left hand side of the road when driving inland).

If you ask for a single scoop you get what passes for double or even triple scoop ice creams from other places.

The north can keep its whopper stoppers, the south has super-size single scoops licked.

Just what are we licking?


An ice cream judge proved that ice cream is better licked from a cone than eaten from a spoon but a school girl’s science project found we could be getting more than ice cream in the cone.

The ODT reports that Kim Shultz tested ice cream from 17 dairies for her entry in the Aurora Otago Science and Technology Fair and discovered that five of them were contaminated by E-coli bacteria. One of those was also contaminated by the staphylococcus aureus micro-organism.

Andrew Tagg, an Otago graduate, and also a judge at the fair, said the practice in some shops of allowing ice cream scoops to sit in warm, “dirty” water for much of the day could result in micro-organisms growing in the water and on the scoop.

This will be filed in the things-Iwish-I-didn’t-know-but-can’t-forget draw. But I’ll hide it under the memories of all the ice creams I’ve licked without ever (touch wood) having suffered ill effects.

Jim Mora interviewed Kim yesterday.

Gumboots for ice cream


The link between ice cream and gumboots might not be immediately obvious, but Jamie McKay is making one on  The Farming Show .

He’s asking all his guests where the best ice creams are sold and also inviting listeners to email him with their views.

So far Rush Munro’s in Hastings and the Hilltop Shop in Hampden (north of Moeraki and south of Waianakarua on State Highway 1 in North Otago) are leading.

I can recomend the ones at the Hilltop in Hampden, even if you ask for a wee one they give you a big one – and they’re always served with a smile.

If you want your vote to count – and be in for the draw to win a pair of Skellerup gumboots – email Jamie on

Ice cream war


Adolf from No Minister left this comment on the post before this one:

There’s an ice cream joint in the village of Pokeno, just south of auckland, which serves the biggesterest ice creams in the world.

Wars have started with less provocative statements than that so I felt the defence of southern ice creameries warranted a post of its own.

The biggest ice creams in New Zealand used to be served by the Itchen Street dairy in Oamaru but they have now been overtaken by those served by the lovely people at the Hilltop store in Hampden.

Second place goes to the Dunsandel Store in Canterbury – a compulsory first stop after leaving Christchurch airport on our way home from overseas.

If we’re going international – the biggest, and best,  are served in Pergamino, Argentina, where you pay by the gram.

Better licked than spooned


An ice cream judge says that ice cream tastes better  when it’s licked from a cone than eaten from a spoon.

Kay McMath, a sensory scientist from Massey University and chief judge for the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards, said today the question of whether ice cream tasted better from a cone than when eaten from a spoon was a tricky hypothesis to prove as it involved such different procedures for different individuals.

“However there are some physical and physiological reasons why there are likely to be differences in flavour,” she said. “Flavour in ice cream is released when it’s warmed in the mouth to at least body temperature. During licking, the tongue is coated with a thin layer of ice cream where it is more quickly warmed, and the flavour is detected by the large surface area of the taste buds present on the tongue. By comparison, the spoon provides insulation to keep the ice cream colder when put into the mouth. Once in the mouth the tongue pushes the ice cream to the roof of the mouth to melt before swallowing. A smaller surface area is therefore involved in warming the ice cream to release the flavours.”

Mrs McMath said that because ice cream was eaten in smaller amounts when it was licked from a cone, the full melt and therefore the full flavour release occurred with every lick.

She said this scientific explanation supported the view that the longer the ice cream licking moment lasted, the greater the enjoyment.

That explains why it’s better eaten from a tea spoon than a dessert spoon and why softer ice cream which has sat at room temperature for a while – though not so long it melts completely – is better than when it’s straight from the freezer and hard.

I’ve always been a fan of the the longer lick – when I was a child I could make an ice cream bought at the petrol station at Evensdale last until we got to my aunt’s house in Dunedin which must have taken more than half an hour. At the time I was just trying to compete with my brothers to see whose ice cream could last the longest, but this study shows our sibling rivalry led to enhanced enjoyment of what was then a very rare treat too.

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