July 21, 2013 was the hosting of Trinidad & Tobago’s first ice-cream festival. Titled Sundae Fest it was truly a celebration that shone a spotlight on local flavours and producers.
It’s a Sundae to Remember in Trinidad & Tobago
Food festivals are not uncommon around the world, but apart from wine for example being the focus of any particular festival, there are few that bring one particular food into the spotlight. There is the Melon Festival in Australia, the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California and a Radish Festival in Mexico. Now enter the Ice Cream Festival in Trinidad and Tobago, cleverly dubbed Sundae Fest.
On Sunday 21st July, ice cream lovers will descend on the Hasely Crawford Stadium to sample ice cream in all flavours made both locally and internationally. The day’s events will be divided into two segments, namely Sundae Blue and Sundae Red.
Sundae Blue caters toward families and children and will be held from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Parents and children will not be wanting for fun and excitement as a fun filled day is planned to make for a truly sweet experience. Sundae Red is targeted towards teens, adults and couples and will start at 5:00pm and end at 9:00pm. Sundae Red will give patrons the opportunity to enjoy their favourite sweet treat under the stars, within an atmosphere of fun activities and live entertainment.
Upon entry, every patron will receive free ice cream and inside the venue, lots of free samples will be available. But patrons need not worry, if the free samples are not sufficient, much more ice cream will be on sale at discounted prices.
Although ice-cream was the order of the day, Sundae Fest also featured a wide array of local dessert-oriented businesses. I was excited to learn about many of these for the first time.
Our traditional sno-cones were served up with a twist through the exotically flavoured shaved ice treats of Tropical Blizzard.
The cupcakes and cake pops from The Cake Lady were divine!
I loved the eye-catching decadence of the treats from Dernier Cri
Gelato businesses have come and gone here in Trinidad. Never quite catching the attention of the public in the way of say the local Haagen-Dazs franchise. Hopefully Tobago’s Ciao Cafe will continue to surmount the many obstacles met by previous entrepreneurs.
In 2012, Katherine Bethel, co-founder of B’s Homemade Ice Cream, discussed the challenges of being a local ice-cream manufacturer in a Trinidad Guardian newspaper profile.
“How can we compete when you have a four-litre foreign product, priced at a two-litre, from a local (manufacturer)?” When the consumer see a B’s, Willie’s, Flavorite or Munch Kings two-litre priced at that, what will they buy based on volume, they’ll pick-up the four-litre (import). Then you have megastores, like PriceSmart, there are no local ice-creams in there. Their members don’t have the choice of having local ice-cream. Why?”
The variety of local vendors at Sundae Fest was really a delight. This was my first time learning about companies like Mama’s Ice Cream and Cafe Mariposa! Two brands that I certainly hope are able to expand their availability after having tasted their offerings!
Mama’s Homemade Ice cream is a high quality brand of homemade ice cream that is offered in a variety of flavors. The taste, texture, aesthetic and philosophy behind this 30 year old brand remain consistent in top notch quality even as it evolves. It’s unique flavour is due to the incorporation of fresh fruits, natural fruit juice and natural essences.
Presently we offer 25 flavours which include mainly tropical flavours and a few well known traditional flavours in sizes ranging from 4 oz to 10 litre buckets for wholesale and retail at the factory.
This evolution has spawned two lines of ice cream; our Classic/Vintage line which encompasses all the ideals and fancies of the ice cream tradition in Trinidad and Tobago. It caters to our “Sunday evening” customer that finds comfort in everything traditional. This customer is truly traditional in taste and looks forward to all the classic flavors like “cherry coconut” and “soursop” which have become a unique “Trini” experience.
Our other line caters to a customer that appreciates things traditional but has fun taking risks. This customer reflects our company’s [hunger] for innovation and evolution while remaining true at heart. For them we have created “Classic Twist.” A combination of flavors old and new!
In addition to ice cream, we also produce and distribute throughout the east west corridor a line of punches; six flavours and counting.
Café Mariposa opened in 2001 as a coffee shop by the brother and sister team of Arthur Guerrero and Bianca Hamelsmith. Located in the picturesque Lopinot valley the Cafe is managed and operated by five of the eight Guerreros who participate in all aspects of the growth and development of what makes Mariposa products what they are.
The coffee shop quickly evolved into a full-fledged restaurant that has attracted worldwide attention with the likes of top chefs and magazines coming to savor the authentic cuisine.
We specialize in Spanish Creole cooking, with tortillas being a crowd favorite. We cater for vegetarian and gluten-free diets and use many vegetables and herbs grown organically on our nearby farm, which also features a large tilapia pond. As for our cooking style, it is genetic with a sprinkling of local, Latin, Caribbean and indigenous ancestral flavor.
Our ice creams and sorbets are created from local fruit and our prizewinning cocoa ice cream and cake are well worth the drive to Lopinot valley.
Our signature dessert, “Helado de Cacao” (cocoa ice cream), is hand-crafted decadence at its best! Or how about a wonderful, warm, gluten-free cocoa cake for dessert? Winner of the first prize in the Dessert Category at the 2011 Trinidad Cocoa Festival. We also create a cocoa infused bread pudding.
Yogurtland‘s New York Cheesecake soft-serve was amazing!!
As the sun began to set, the sound of live pan filled the air as the NGC Couva Joylanders played a series of classic calypsoes.