All scream for ice-cream

Helping to keep you cool this summer are some delicious flavoured ice-creams made locally from the islands own dairy herds.  Island Life’s, Tony Ridd had the enviable task to find out more…

There can’t be many visitors who come to the island with out trying at least one ice-cream on their stay with island residents enjoying many more.

With over a hundred different flavours on offer ranging from traditional vanilla or mint-choc-chip to lavender and Goo Goo Chocolate there really is something for everyone.

So, in this ingredient conscious world that we live in, what goes into making good ice cream… In the main, ice-cream consists of milk, sugar, cream, egg yolk with some sort of flavouring either natural fruit and nuts or artificial flavours.  To convince us what we are eating some may even contain artificial colourings.

But not all ice-cream producers are the same and depending on the breed of cow milked, the process of production and flavourings used will decide on the final piece of art, and as we know ‘art is in the eye of the beholder’, or in this case the mouth of the taster.

We now have four ice-cream producers on the island, all using their own or locally produced fresh milk and cream.  They use real fruit and nuts for flavours and no colourings.

Calbourne Classics run by Jill Caywood and her family, based in Shalfleet have been making ice-cream since 1989.  They use the milk from their own Fresian Holstein pedigree herd and are the only island based producer to use clotted cream, a cooking process of the cream that caramelises sugar in the milk.  They offer 14 flavours and regularly make bespoke flavours for special occasions.

Chale Farm Ice Cream owned by the Dyer family originally using from Coppid Hall Dairy at Havenstreet. They produce nearly 40 flavours and for the last five years have been making a very popular diabetic ice cream with the sugar coming only from the fruit used.

Minghella’s Ice Cream is probably our best known name on the island and certainly our longest producer having started in 1950 by Edward and Gloria Minghella.  They are very particular with their ingredients using only the freshest full cream milk and double cream from island farms.  There are over a 65 flavours to choose from, and if you want something a bit special they will produce an ice cream to your taste.

Chilton Farm Ice Cream is made from cream rich Jersey cow milk, the oldest Jersey herd in England except for the Queens own herd.  Run by the Fisk family in Brighstone they produce ­­­­40 flavours using fresh fruit with no colourings.

What is nice about the ice cream makers on the Isle of Wight is that they are all family run business by people who are passionate about what they are doing.  Forget about the large mass produced ice creams on offer.  I can recommend you try a local product – it may cost a little more but you can be confident of it’s source, the chances are you’ve even seen the cow that was milked to produce your ice cream.