I have often heard people saying “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s kind of same thing.” So true, happiness is having an ice cream even at 2 pm in the night when the world slumped into deep sleep and you silently peeked into the fridge to devour your favourite flavour. Being a self proclaimed ice cream connoisseur, I was always very picky about what flavours I choose and what kind of ice cream I would love to indulge in. Always on the hunt for different flavours, more on innovative side, I found the better it is. So when someone tempted me with a paan flavoured ice cream I lapped it up at once, at other times I snobbishly give a pass to regular chocolate icecream. It sounds strange to many as I am a chocolate aficionado, love chocolate in almost everything even if that means soaking my feet in chocolate mask, but when it comes to chocolate icecream, I could never bring myself to love it.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream –
So last year when I visited Karen Anand’s farmer’s market I had stumbled upon this new brand of icecream that had not been launched in Banglaore yet, Hokey – Pokey Icecream. I hardly remember what I had tasted there, and to tell you the turth, it was neither impressiven nor too gross either, just an average icecream. Exactly an year later, the brand launched its first outlet in Bangalore and I was invited for tasting session at their launch event. But could not make it to the event for some personal reasons, the good people of Hokey Pokey had couriered the samples to me.
So to cut the long story short, I had received two samples of icecream (just two 🙁 ) and five samples of their newly launched Greek yogurt under the brand name Epigamia. The icecreams were in cute triangular small size (extremely small in my opinion) red plastic boxes, one was chocolate and another was mango.
Mad king Alphonso was the first to hit my taste buds as I deliberately sidelined the chocolate one. Being married to a Mumbaikar has its own merits especially when it comes to testify the real taste of Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri. Mad King Alphonso wins hands down in terms of flavour and the real taste of pulpy Alphonso mangoes was very much evident in every small bite that we managed to share between us.
Next comes the dreaded chocolate icecream but as soon as I opened the box, it looks delicious, decadent and deviliciously tempting. After a single measured spoonful of chocolate icecream, I had just one line for you Hokey Pokey ” You had me at double chocolate therapy“. Dark Belgian chocolate icecream intermixes with chocolate fudge, blended hazelnut (good news for all Nutella fans) and brownie, in short it was loaded with all chocolaty goodness.
Recommendation – yes for these two flavours.
Brand’s uniqueness – Hokey Pokey ice creams are unmistakably creamier than its other Indian counterparts but not so creamy and rich as compared to International brands. And this is so because most of the international brands use eggs in icecreams to enrich the creaminess and richness of taste. Hokey Pokey icecreams are egg free and that’s the reason they melt very fast when out of freezer. Another interesting fact about Hokey Pokey icecreams are that they are born on cold slab stone, Teppanayki style in their parlours, I guess that would be far more interesting to try. Because everybody loves freedom of expression! Certainly a new idea for Indian customers to mix and match your own icecream flavours and eat it too.
Epigamia Greek Yogurt – In ancient Athens, Epigamia meant a way to formalize a relationship between two different nations. Thus launching this Epigamia yogurt, Hokey Pokey applaud the marriage of healthy lifestyle with delicious taste using natural ingredients only, free from artificial flavours, colors and other chemical additives and preservatives.
Greek yogurt is nothing but strained yogurt where whey has been removed to get a thicker and creamier constituency, like our very own shrikhand where it is mixed with sugar or fruits like mangoes to make amrakhand. It is a very popular yogurt or yogurt cheese in most of the mid eastern countries where it is called labneh and in other eastern European countries too but in past few decades the concept was borrowed to America where it is labeled as “Greek yogurt”, albeit most of the brands there found guilty of making it in different style and infiltrating it with corn starch and milk-protein concentrate to mimic the texture thus producing a nutritionally inferior product.
Taste test- I have sampled five different flavours of Epigamia yogurt: plain, strawberry, mango, banana -honey and minty chaat. The plain one is simply plain Jane style or was I expecting vanilla flavour in it. I will not be surprised if small and expensive cup of plain yogurt has fewer takers. Strawberry and mangoes are the one that is worth trying as it contains the real fruit pulp and sugar. Banana-honey was too sweet for my taste and not up to the mark on flavor gradient too. Minty chaat was the real surprise of the lot, totally unexpected and yes it need some accompaniment like tortilla chips, samosa, papri chaat and likes.
Verdict – Overall, a nice product, low in fat, high in protein. But as per the strained yogurt or Greek yogurt standards it should contain only yogurt and live bacteria culture. That reduces the product shelf life and in this case Epigamia yogurt has shorter shelf life of only two weeks. It may not contain artificial sweetener but presence of sugar cannot be ruled out. Definitely worth trying and the best in Indian market so far.
Lastly thanks to Hokey Pokey for introducing us to this good and healthy product.
*Views expressed here are discreetly my own.”