By Fiona Frawley
To the ones we once loved… ice creams
Amidst the Titanic submarine and Kourtney Kardashian pregnancy news, a quiet corner of the internet has been in mourning ever since the news broke that Irish summer staple Choc Ice ice creams are being discontinued.
For so many Irish people, childhood was punctuated with boxes of Choc Ices or their fruitier cousin Super Splits, to be enjoyed after an incinerated chunk of ash that once resembled meat on the barbecue. There are Irish mothers who refer to every ice cream as a Choc Ice (the hoover effect in full swing here) – a true measure of their lasting influence on our culture.
Their exit from the Irish market has us yearning for other ice creams from our youth, some of which are still with us, some now sadly departed.
Luckily these babies are still available, but it felt wrong to list out the others without paying brief tribute to the holy grail of Irish ice-creams.
Puns for days with these no-fuss lollies, just good old-fashioned flavoured ice on a stick for the more frugal consumer.
Loop the Loop
Yes, Loop the Loops are technically still available – but we all know the flavour has changed. Connoisseurs believe the Super Valu own-brand version taste more similar to the Loop the Loops of our youth than the HB offering available today – you’ll just have to try both for yourself to assess.
Maybe the moon landings were fake and Apollo 11 never happened, but these fruity rocket-shaped lollies were 100% real.
Wibbly Wobbly Wonder
This one cuts particularly deep – strawberry and banana flavoured ice cream with jelly and a chocolate coating, Wibbly Wobbly Wonders just made sense and we can only hope the newfound appreciation for old Irish dishes like coddle and summer salads will help bring these babies back into production once more.
These little milk-pops are still available, but deserve a shout out for being almost as instrumental in our childhoods as a slice of raspberry ripple between two wafers.
The fruity version of a Mini Milk, Sparkles were another go-to cost-effective box of pops, oft-reached for by parents looking to keep a swarm of kids happy. The cola and orange flavours were usually snapped up the quickest, with the rest being left for more timid grabbers.
More of a bar on a stick than an ice-cream, you’d only really get your hands on one of these chunky treats if you were an only child or happened to find yourself in a shop without your siblings. Looking back at the old HB posters, it looks like they were actually close enough in price to a Choc-Ice but for some reason, they felt more aspirational.
An earlier iteration of the Twister we now know, but pink and white instead of the contemporary green, white and red. Gone but never forgotten.
So-called for its blood-style innards and because your mouth would be turned completely red after eating one, the Dracula was instrumental in the rise of novelty treats in Ireland.
Before the days of tablets and iPhones, we’d entertain ourselves by pointing finger-shaped ice lollies at each other. A simpler time.
Given Ireland’s long-standing affinity for mint chocolate, it’s surprising these haven’t been brought back in some iteration. A potential for summer 2024, perhaps?
Cornetto Soft Serve
We’re getting into the noughties now, with a limited edition soft serve which epitomises the Celtic Tiger – opulent, over-the-top and ultimately unsustainable on the Irish market.
I remember these growing legs around the time that Winders, Tubble Gum and other treats that felt like an activity to eat were rising in popularity. You inexplicably felt like a legend when popping the cap and pouring a few of these down your gullet – I’m sure we all looked exactly as cool as we’re remembering.
Probably the most sorely felt absence by the Irish public, there’s simply no logical reason why the Fat Frog can’t be brought back to the market. The inspiration for all our alco-pop fantasies and a classic source of refreshment, the Fat Frog is missed by many and loved by all.
Did we miss out one of your favourite Irish ice-creams? Let us know!