Enjoy a taste of traditional Russian ice cream on your next trip to St Petersburg
The city of St Petersburg may not be an obvious destination for ice cream enthusiasts, but morozhenoe (Russian ice cream) has been popular here for many years. Differing from traditional ice cream in taste and texture, it’s creamier and softer than western varieties thanks to its increased volume of natural milk, which comes fresh from local farms. From Soviet era favourites like Plombir and Stakanchik to modern Eskimo choc-ices, there are many types of morozhenoe to sample on your next trip to St Petersburg.
Ever since ice cream became a popular, affordable treat during the Soviet era, it has dominated Russia’s dessert scene. Back then, it was usually only possible to buy morozhenoe from the major cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, but nowadays it’s available across the country. There are several types to try, which remain mostly unchanged since Soviet days. The most popular varieties are Plombir and Stakanchik; usually served in a wrapper or a cup-shaped wafer. Other types include Eskimo – similar to a Magnum on a stick – and Lakomka, a tube-shaped waffle that’s usually made from chocolate and contains flavoured ice cream.
Morozhenoe flavours are often less bountiful than Western ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious. The most popular flavours of Russian ice cream include cream, milk, vanilla and crème brûlée, as well as traditional sweetened condensed milk. If these don’t appeal, it’s also possible to find a broader range of flavours such as nuts, caramel, chocolate and an assortment of fruits.
A collection of established and boutique brands continue to produce morozhenoe throughout Russia to this day. Petroholod is the oldest and largest Russian ice cream manufacturer in Russia and makes a huge array of ice creams, including the famous waffle cups and the popular briquettes (ice cream sandwiches). Another leading producer is 48 Kopeek, which evokes the Soviet origins of Russian ice cream in its adverts and packaging.
Locals enjoy Morozhenoe all year round – even in the snow. However, it’s best appreciated in the summer months, when the parks are full and the sun is shining. It’s available all around town and served in kiosks and ice cream carts positioned in most parks and alongside most major river embankments. A wide selection is also available at food stores around the city, where it sits alongside international brands (but is, interestingly, still more popular than its western competitors). Morozhenoe can also be found in many ice cream parlours, cafés and restaurants across the city.