Fabulous Ice Cream Parlours in Central America

From a time before I became allergic to milk:

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Central America is full of ice cream. In every town there is a Sarita, an ice-cream parlous that stocks piles of creamy, margerine-ey ice cream that Nigella Lawson would throw her hands up in despair at. But when there’s no air-conditioning, and, frequently, no fan either, a lump of cold margarine is just what you need to get through the day.

The first thing that struck me when I walked into one of the parlours was the variety of ice cream in the buckets under the glass counter. Central America isn’t famed for variety: the chance of ordering rice and beans for every meal is high here.

So you can see why I was surprised when I entered Sarita in Guatemala. I could have a sundae, a cookie dough sundae, a banana split (and a million and one more categories of this variety), the choice of tones of ice creams and blitzed icy cold drinks and fruit juices. I could have lazed around the place all day revelling in its variety, if it wasn’t for the fact that the Sarita ice cream parlours are the hottest places I have ever been in.

The ice cream itself is nothing special. It’s definitely of the margarine variety. You can tell this because when it starts to melt it not only retains the shape of ice cream, but actually becomes warm.

Sam ordered a ‘mini banana’ today and ended up with two enormous scoops of fresa and chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, banana, sprinkles, jelly babies (?) and a glacĂ© cherry. All very exciting and all for about a dollar. My cannonball size scoop of bubblegum ice cream came to about 40p.

So I just thought I’d throw a rainbow coloured curve ball of variety into the otherwise monotonous choices offered by Nicaragua. Not volcanoes though. They have a lot of those.