Cheese Ice Cream or what we call Keso / Queso Ice Cream is an ice cream flavoured with cheese. A very popular flavour in the Philippines it is sold almost by every ice cream vendor.
At last I have bought an ice cream maker now I can make it at home and stop drooling over ice creams made by foodie friends Nami and Ray. I have a lot of flavours in mind but we will be starting with some Filipino classic flavours and first up will be the Cheese Ice Cream or what we call Keso / Queso Ice Cream.
I know non Filipinos would find this flavour weird but trust me this is a really good ice cream flavour; in fact it’s the most popular one in the Philippines. It is sold everywhere in shops, in supermarkets even on the streets in form of colourfully painted wooden carts peddled by a sorbetero. I remember when I posted a photo of this in Facebook I got several comments from colleagues and friends asking me to bring some to office and gatherings which I definitely did the next week after; the ice cream maker was busy. The result was good as it was a big hit for both Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike, I am sure for countrymen they did miss this taste as we don’t have a similar flavour here in New Zealand. For those who haven’t tried this flavour before I noticed they tried it first on small amounts just to fix that curiosity and then afterwards all you hear is mmmmmmm, and they all started grabbing their scoops to get a good serving of this ice cream.
Ice cream has a really interesting history as it was invented prior to refrigeration, just imagine how would they churn it? Well first versions were not churned but they rely on snow. Earliest accounts of a cold dessert similar to this were during the Persian Empire when people pour concentrated grape juice over snow, they consume it usually during hot weather but how do they get the snow? During those times snow taken in top of mountains is saved in cool-keeping underground chambers called “yakhchal”. After this the recipe was further improved and tried to freeze rose water and vermicelli then mix it with a variety of spiced and fruits. The first time milk appeared on a frozen product was in China around 200 BC when frozen milk and rice was combined. It then started to appear in Europe during the times of Roman Emperor Nero (37–68) when he asks his servants to bring ice from the mountains to combine it with fruit toppings.
After those period ice cream started to become commercialized when the Arabs started using milk as its major ingredient and used sugar to sweeten the mixture. The Chinese then invented the device to make ice creams by using snow and saltpetre over the exteriors of containers where this dessert is made, a similar process is even used until know in Philippines in production of sorbetes. In the Yuan Dynasty it was said that Kublai Khan enjoyed ice cream and kept it a heavily guarded secret until Marco Polo visited China. Marco Polo then took the technique of making ice cream and brought it to Italy. It then spread to other European countries like France and England and the rest was history.
Thanks for refrigeration we can enjoy this dessert easily otherwise we will all be going up in the mountains just to get that precious ice to satisfy that ice cream cravings.