Sweet traditions at VDNKh: Eskimo ice cream a great favourite

January 25
Culture

Eskimo is one of the favourite desserts for millions of people on the planet. This type of ice cream has always been one of the most popular treats with VDNKh visitors.

For more than 80 years, VDNKh has been a place where you can taste the famous ice cream on a stick covered in a chocolate coating. Even taking a look at the most conservative estimates, over this period of time, half of the country’s population have tried it at VDNKh at least once. In the Soviet Union, visitors lined up at the Ice Cream pavilion, but today, during the warm season, this ice is available at any of the 20 specialised kiosks scattered around the place, as well as at two ice cream pavilions all year round.

Eskimo's birthday is considered to be 24 January. On this day in 1922, Christian Nelson, an American pastry chef and owner of a sweet shop, registered a patent for his invention, the Eskimo Pie, an ice cream with a coating. In the Soviet Union, ice cream on a stick went into production in the mid-1930s at the personal initiative of People's Commissar of the Food Industry Anastas Mikoyan who borrowed America’s experience. The product was high-quality, and the recipes were regulated by GOST standards. Soviet ice cream was also served to foreign guests and exported to various countries.

Ice Cream Pavilion. 1970s

From Glavkhladprom to Ice Cream Pavilion

In addition to mobile kiosks and freezer carts, there was the Glavkhladprom pavilion at the pre-war Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (then the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition), right where the Tabak (Tobacco) pavilion is located now. That was where visitors could find a whole range of dairy products such as milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and of course, different types of ice cream, including Eskimo. It was at that time, the mid-1930s, that ice cream production was gaining momentum in the Soviet Union. Eskimo was considered a medicinal and dietary product, and the convenient stick it was on immediately made it a popular kind of street food.

Glavkhladprom pavilion. Late 1930s - early 1940s

After the war, the Glavkhladprom pavilion was moved to behind pavilions No 67 (former Karelo-Finnish SSR) and 68 (former Siberia, now the Republic of Armenia exhibition and trade centre). The new building was shaped like a block of ice; that was an isolated case in Soviet architecture because of the fight against formalism. The place was crowned with a sculpture of a seal holding a portion of ice cream. In 1956, Glavkhladprom was renamed the Ice Cream Pavilion. It had a retail area on the first floor, a large room for 80 people with a snowflake-shaped chandelier. About the same number could be accommodated on the adjacent terrace. In addition to Eskimo, the cafe served Plombir premium full cream ice, crème brulee and plain ice cream served with different syrups.

Khladoprom advertisement. 1961

VDNKh-80, classic on a stick and ‘portrait’ of Marilyn Monroe

Eskimo still remains one of the favorites of VDNKh visitors. Alongside the original classic chocolate-coated buttercream flavour, there are dozens of new (very diverse) varieties on offer. The food court, for example, has chef’s sculpted ice-cream on a stick with unusual flavours made in the shape of faces of famous people. Among them are Marilyn Monroe (bubble gum flavour), Ernesto Che Guevara (double chocolate) and Vladimir Mayakovsky (cranberry sorbet). There’s a huge choice.

In the Ice Cream (building 575) and Ice Cream Laboratory pavilions (building 417), visitors can buy VDNKh's branded ice-cream all year round, including three types of Eskimo: Yubileinoye VDNKh, Almond-pistachio VDNKh and Vanilla VDNKh. In addition to this, there is a handmade Eskimo shop at the Ice Cream Laboratory where culinary artists create unique ice-cream supplementing their favourite varieties with bitter, milk or white chocolate and confectionery decorations to suit every taste. The place also offers workshops for children to explore ice cream production.

Source: mos.ru

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