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Kuwaitis and ice cream: A story of passion dating back to the ’30s

KUWAIT: The weather during the summer in Kuwait is known for its scorching heat and suffocating humidity, which drives most people almost mad. However, in the 1930s, Kuwaitis were introduced to Al-Barred (ice cream), also referred to by its Turkish name Dondurma. The delicacy became an instant hit amongst people, especially during the summer season. In his book on handicrafts and old commercial activities in Kuwait, historian Mohammad Jamal said a person known as Abu Eskandar from Iraq introduced ice cream to the country.

Ice cream was handmade using a mixture of water, sugar and color additives, said Jamal, adding that the mix was put into containers and covered in salt and ice to lower the temperature and preserve the contents. He added that ice cream was sold in traditional coffee shops and it was served in small plates to eager customers.

Amongst the first people to open ice cream shops in Kuwait were the late Hussein and Abbas Shishtar, in addition to Abdulnour Al-Awadhi and Mohammad Busheri, said Jamal, indicating that in the 1940s, the late Shaaban and Gholum Ghathanfari opened the first factory that supplied ice cream to cafes and shops. Later on, ice cream became more available to the masses to the point of having venders roaming the street nowadays, calling people to buy the sweet and tasty dessert, said Jamal. – KUNA

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