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12 ice creams from an Irish childhood that must be brought back immediately

Words: Emily Mullen

I say hello you say goodbye

With the passing of Spring into Summer, a pang hits us, a pain somewhere behind the back of the eyes. It’s that same area of the noggin that used to twinge when a brain freeze struck after eating ice cream too quickly. That’s where it hits, the pang. An area that holds pain and happiness in one blinding, eye-closing, jaw-clenching, stop whatever you’re doing motion, that brings you back to the beloved ice cream of your childhood. Each Summer we are cruelly reminded of all those ice creams that vanished without even a sticky-fingered wave goodbye. In order to fully get over them and stop the pang, we need to have a proper goodbye, so here are the 12 ice creams* that need to be brought back immediately:

12.

Sparkles Ice Pops

A firm favourite of Irish Mothers, who would appear with armfuls of them whenever the weather hit double digits. There was invariably a scrap to get the cola and strawberry flavour first, with pear, pineapple, orange left for the less tenacious.

11.

Sky Ice Cream Bar

Not everyone remembers Sky ice cream bars, they were on the shelves for a short period of time before they were discontinued. There was a surround of creamy chocolate, with a layer of vanilla ice cream and the pièce de résistance, a bubbly Aero-esque chocolate centre. They were an excellent ice cream bar and chocolate bar hybrid.

10.

Feast

Feasts weren’t for the faint-hearted, they were for the dense of body. There was a lot to get through, between the crunchy nut exterior and the solid hunk of creamy milk chocolate, it wasn’t so much ice cream as a bar on a stick.

9.

Super Split

The Super Split broke a lot of boundaries, combining ice pop with ice cream into a mashup on a stick. But the pairing of tangy orange with vanilla ice cream interior just worked. The price range of the Super Split was on the affordable end of things, which made Super Splits a bit of a family favourite too. It’s worth noting that HB still sell Super Splits but they pale in comparison with the OGs.

Nestle
8.

Thataways

It was practically frowned upon if you didn’t point at something when you got a Thataway ice pop. Each and every time a Thataway was bought it had to be done and it would without fail to get a laugh. The design of the ice pop was definitely a riff on the novelty foam fingers that were omnipresent in American films, which automatically made them extremely exotic.

HB
7.

Cornetto Soft

Kids whose parent’s didn’t have a holiday home in Florida during the peak Celtic Tiger, are no doubt pretty familiar with the Corneto Soft. It was a contraption seen in shops and on the beachfront (thanks to its wheels) right around Ireland, serving up top-notch ice creams to the snotty-nosed kids on their summer holidays.

HB
6.

Screwballs

When the magical tinkling of the ice cream man’s van could be heard, it was easy to know what to get. The Screwball had all the best bits of a 99, without the dry crunchy cone that’s left at the end. It was soft serve pumped into a handheld plastic container, which had a bit of bubblegum down the bottom that could be lashed with syrup and also came with a flake. Sure, you didn’t have the cone, but you gained so much more.

I'm sure screwballs used to be bigger......
@massymann
5.

McDonald’s Hot Caramel Sundae

Depending on your vintage, Hot Caramel Sundaes will mean more to you than to others. But for a certain age group of Irish kids, ice cream sundae’s from McDonald’s meant a hell of a lot. It’s frankly nonsensically that McDonald’s discontinued these containers of joy on these shores, while they are still being served in other Golden Arches around the world. Luxuriously warm caramel was poured over vanilla ice cream, making up a perfectly proportioned dessert for children (which was probably meant for adults).

McDonalds
4.

Solero Shots

It really is astounding that some of these were discontinued, especially Solero Shots, which were pretty progressive ice cream. Surely the setup of a Solero Shots was born for modernity, the free-flowing citrus-flavour ice spheres are packaged in a resealable container, perfect for the busy human who hasn’t enough hands. To a 90s kid those little ice pellets were also very refreshing and made you look super cool as you tilted them into your mouth (which may or may not have been influenced by their fairly suspect ad).

3.

Freaky Foot

HB

Some know this well-heeled ice cream as the cousin of the also highly popular and discontinued Funny Feet, but Freaky Foot was a step above that, given that it had a mix of strawberry and vanilla ice cream and a chocolate-covered big toe. Freaky foot was one of those parts of Irish childhoods that you never really questioned you just excepted that sometimes you ate an ice cream that was shaped like a foot.

2.

Wibbly Wobbly Wonders

It’s mind-blowing that they discontinued Wibbly Wobbly Wonders, the ice-cream that had to have been one of Ireland’s best sellers. They had the half-and-half strawberry and banana ice cream base with the wobbly lemon jelly top covered in a layer of chocolate. They were briefly brought back for HP’s 80th-anniversary celebrations in 2006 but were cruelly snatched from us again shortly afterwards.

1.

Fat Frog

Of course, the most missed ice cream was going to be Fat Frog, since it’s an absolute travesty that they were ever discontinued. The Fat Frog is synonymous with Irish childhoods, and teenagehood since the ice lolly sparked an alcopop drink in its honour. Hope the Fat Frog is looking down on us in the big freezer in the sky. Why did it ever leave?

HB Ireland

*This is the past so “ice-cream” is an umbrella term for ice pops, ice creams, soft serve and dressed up bars.

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