Powdered Ice Cream?

Sometimes the memories blissfully fade – until someone brings them flooding back.

When I posted about the cola I drank on a recent visit to IKEA there was a comment about different substitutes for the real thing. And suddenly I remembered powdered ice cream.ice cream

You’ve probably never heard of the stuff. You can be thankful for that.

I first had it in 1989 the week we moved to Liberia. We were invited to a colleague’s for dinner, and as a treat there was ice cream for dessert. Milk products were not readily available in the stores (I went a year with no fresh milk) so ice cream was made from a mix. Buy the powder, add water, stir and stick it in the freezer. You could buy it in three flavours, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

It was cold, but it didn’t taste like ice cream. It was more ice than cream, and not very good ice at that. I didn’t like the stuff, but was too polite to say so since our hosts thought they were giving me a treat. My thought at the time was that I would never have that again.

A few months later I bought not just a pouch of the ice cream powder, but a large tub that could be used to make gallons of the stuff. With no opportunity to have real ice cream, the powdered variety began to have some appeal. After six months it started to taste really good. I started wanting it with every meal. Which goes to show how flexible we are and how we can adapt to new situations.

Almost thirty years later, powdered ice cream is now just a memory. But an online search shows me the I could still purchase the stuff if I really wanted go. I guess there are still places where you can’t get the real thing.

The powder looks expensive to me, but if it is your only option it is probably a great deal.

I’m not tempted though. I remember that first taste. You can get used to powdered ice cream. You can even grow to love it. But I would prefer not to go that route again.

Real ice cream is so much better.


  1. I didn’t see it as a cultural difference, more one of supply and demand. Probably not enough demand back in the 1980s to justify shipping ice cream to Africa. Or maybe it was just too expensive. I give credit to whomever thought of the powdered stuff!

  2. Cultural differences work both ways. I wonder what they would think of milk sold in bags?

    1. What do people in British Columbia think of milk in bags? Only in part of Canada is it sold that way.

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