What you need to know:
- Our 21st pick of the month is the lotus ice cream.
- Be prepared for our list of 29 ice creams for 29 days.
- End your fast and enjoy the summer months with these sweet and cold treats.
If you live in the UAE, you are no stranger to the sensation that is Lotus Biscoff Cookies or Lotus biscuits. In the last few years, the popularity of the flavour created a stir on social media. From pancakes to ice cream, the Lotus biscuit has been incorporated into many sweet treats around the country, which is why it is on our Ramadan list.
#21 The Lotus ice cream
History of the Lotus biscuit:
If you think the Lotus biscuit is a new creation, you are mistaken. Lotus Biscoff Cookies started in 1932, and were baked in the small town of Lembeke in Belgium. The cookies made their first appearance in the US in the 1980s.
According to Lotus Biscoff’s official website, in the 1950s, the Lotus biscuit was served with a cup of coffee and this combination not only became popular in Belgium, but was seen in cafés all around Europe. It is known as “Europe’s favourite Cookie”.
Customers can get Lotus biscuits, as well as Lotus Biscoff Cookie Butter, which is a sweet spread that acts as an alternative to nut butters and other chocolate spreads.
Rise to fame
In the UAE, Lotus is used when making dessert. Many restaurants in the country incorporate the biscuit and the spread in their creations.
Chef Taj, Executive Chef of Parker’s Restaurant in Dubai, said: “This craze for Biscoff only heightened with the invention of something fondly known as ‘Cookie Butter’ or the Lotus biscuit spread.”
He added that the biscuit is popular because people associate it with their childhood.
“Lotus biscuits takes us back to when we were children as we never used to get tired of eating these biscuits. They were our favourite... that’s the speciality of Lotus. As a chef, I wanted this in concept incorporated in the restaurant and used it in our dessert.”
Parker’s Restaurant in Dubai serves a dish called the Lotus Drama (Dh37), a biscoff pudding made from butter, flour and lotus spread, served with vanilla ice cream.
He added that the popularity of Lotus surpassed the popularity of the classic Nutella chocolate spread because people resonate with the biscuits more and “it takes them down memory lane”.
Dubai-based food and lifestyle blogger Naomi D’Souza (@naomi_dsouza) is a fan of all things Lotus. She said: “When I was a child I remember buying these biscuits from my local grocery store. [The product] really became popular [in the UAE] two to three years ago... and this has a lot to do with social media. Chefs tried out this flavour in their desserts, people loved it... and then the rest is history.”
When asked whether Lotus has now become a flavour associated with the UAE, D’Souza said: “Initially, I didn’t think so. I felt it was a fad that might eventually pass, but I’m glad it didn’t! I think we’re definitely getting there now because more and more restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon.
“Lotus is a flavour that caramel-lovers would like, the ones who like chocolate, would choose Nutella, any day. Albeit, the Nutella trend has been around for so long that I think they’ve done almost everything they can with it. We needed something new, and that is Lotus.”
What’s the verdict?
We asked UAE residents whether they liked Lotus ice cream, and we got mixed reactions. Some people love the sweet, caramel flavour and texture of the biscuit, while others do not. People find the Lotus combination “too sweet”.
Jordanian national Toulin Khalil enjoys the taste of Lotus but finds the hype “overrated”. She knew about the product before it became a social media trend and was not very impressed when it became a sensation in the UAE.
The 22-year-old graphic designer said: “Lotus has been around for a long time. Out of nowhere, everyone suddenly liked it. I think a celebrity posted about it online, and everyone wanted to try it.”
Unlike Khalil, Dubai resident Aditi Raturi “loves the slightly salty flavour of Lotus Biscoff added to [her] dessert”.
The 24-year-old told Gulf News: “I was quite apprehensive about it. However, when I did end up trying it, I almost immediately fell in love.”
The food blogger said: “I see food trends come and go. People in UAE, or just people in general are obsessed with chocolate-based desserts. It was interesting seeing a shift from that to Lotus.”
Lotus ice cream:
Lotus flavoured ice cream is found in almost all ice cream parlours in the UAE.
Sweet Salvation’s Lotus flavoured ice cream (Dh 30 starting) was created to meet the needs of the customers in the UAE.
The store manager said: “The Lotus flavoured ice cream is made locally and it is very popular. The flavour is not found in Canada, where Sweet Salvation originates. It is a Dubai-original flavour. We change as per the local market. The ice cream is drizzled with a lotus sauce made with the Lotus spread, and biscuit crumbs.”
At Flavours Ice Cream shop in Bur Dubai, the Lotus ice cream (Dh7) is textured and customers can feel biscuit chunks in the ice cream.
Salt serves a Lotus Softie (Dh20 starting) in a cone, which is topped with Lotus sauce and caramelised biscuit crumbs.
Manager of Salt La Mer, Bappy Malakar said: “We are the first ones to introduce Lotus here... We always believed in simple ingredients. We took the simple biscuit and created something out of it. A lot of people love this flavour.”
Availability: London Dairy Café and Bistro, Ice Cream Lab, Cold Stone Creamery and many more parlours have Lotus ice cream on their menu. If you are just looking for Lotus desserts, you can head to Just Cupcakes Dubai, Magnolia Bakery, California Pizza Kitchen, IHOP and Parker’s Dubai.
Are you a fan of the Lotus ice cream? Tell us your experience at email@example.com.