As someone born in the mid-1970s and a child of the 1980s, I grew up reading Reader’s Digest and, consequently, the ad-driven recipe booklet inserts that came within it for nearly two decades. These were an almost endless source of fascination for me In the booklets from the late ’70s, there were ads featuring instant ice cream mixes, most of which were made by the RFM Corporation under the brand name Hans which later became synonymous with instant gelatine desserts.
Ice cream mixes were a way for folks to get their dose of cold, creamy goodness at home without having to make a run to the supermarket freezer section. These were also dead-simple to make: just stir the powder into some milk, chuck it into the freezer, and you were good to go in a few hours. Of course, when the local ice cream wars began heating up in the mid ’80s and Yankee brands like Dreyer’s, Breyer’s, and Ben and Jerry’s became available in Manila supermarkets, ice cream mixes pretty much became as outdated as shag carpets and miniskirts.
But, as in fashion, what goes around comes around: ice cream mixes are making a comeback – but, this time, they’re imported from Korea. Beksul Authentic Desserts at Home are now available in selected Oriental groceries within the Greater Manila Area. The novelty for these is that all you need to do is whisk the powered mix into 200mL of warmed milk, freeze it for a few hours, et voila: dessert is served. It isn’t as rich or as creamy as standard-issue ices, but it’s a pretty interesting concept. (Oh, and stick to the chocolate!)