Think you've heard it all when it comes to ice cream? Think again. Toss aside that scoop of bleu cheese, pass on the bacon, skip the scientific concoction that's all the rage. Put down that ice cream sandwich and head to a strip mall on Bell Road to try a scoop or two of Indian ice cream.
That's right. East Indian ice cream in Phoenix.
Kwality specializes in the Indian version of ice cream — kulfi
— a frozen treat that is denser and creamier than its typical counterpart. Unlike Western ice creams, kulfi
is not whipped, but made by slow cooking and stirring evaporated and flavored milk together with ingredients like saffron, pistachio, rose essence, and mango. The array of unfamiliar flavors may seem overwhelming at first. But the staff is friendly and on a recent visit, offered several samples to customers who were eager to try thandai, saffron pista
, and kulfi falooda
. You can also play it safe with American favorites like cookies 'n' cream, chocolate, and butter pecan.
A good place to start might be with the pistachio kulfi, featuring whole nuts. This ice cream doesn't melt in your mouth immediately, but stays for a few seconds, so you can taste the competing textures of pistachios and milky flavors. The ingredients are fresh; the scent of rose, mango, or saffron is apparent even before you take a bite.
Sugar-free options are also available. One scoop is satisfying, but if you want to experiment with Eastern and Western flavors, the prices are affordable. A small scoop costs $2.99, while a sundae, including a syrup and extra topping, costs $6.50. The ice cream is also available in to-go pints and quarts.
Kwality Ice Cream
1601 East Bell Road
Tuesday-Thursday 3 to 9 p.m.
Friday-Sunday Noon to 9 p.m.