In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a number of Italian families emigrated to Scotland, and became ice cream makers - normally as an adjunct to their cafes and chip shops. Or in the case of the Porelli's, from their own fleet of ice cream vans.

Examples of these include:

All of them manufacture many flavours of ice cream - although it saddens me to report that Luca's have recently stopped selling that old staple, Raspberry Ripple.

So - the question is, of course, how do they taste?

Well, the gummiest of them is definitely Mr. Boni's, whose malt whisky ice cream is excellent. Mind you, I recommend cutting it with 2 parts vanilla to every one part malt whisky.

Next on the gumminess scale comes Equi's (who won the first ever Scottish ice cream manufacturers association award for their ice cream), followed by Nardini's

Luca's are the first of the Italians off of the gumminess scale, and Crolla's don't even come near in this regard. Personally, I don't seek gumminess in my ice creams, so I personally enjoy Luca's and Nardini's from that list.

I have never (yet!) tried Capaldi's, Giacopazzi's, Porelli's, so am not in a position to comment on them.

The dairy farm ice creams are of a different school altogether, focussing on creaminess. Personally, I favour Mackie's, but... let's face it, you cannot go wrong in this company - they are all far superior to the heavily advertised and ridiculously priced mass market 'premium' ice creams. That's not to say that I would refuse an offer of a tub of 'Cherry Garcia' if it was slipped my way, but whenever I'm in Scotland I'm able to resist the charms of a tub of Haagen-Daaz without effort.

*Yes, this is an English firm, but they deserve the plug as their products are very widely available in England, and are not that far off being similiar in quality. I'd say they're a close match for Crolla's, in particular.

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