Artisanal ice cream label The Fat Little Penguin should really be on your quarantine radar
Ice cream has proved itself to be the most convenient quarantine dessert. But it's time you ditched the store-bought slabs of ice cream and gave fresh, homemade craft ice cream a chance. Kolkata-based artisanal ice cream brand The Fat Little Penguin is just a year old and is already the go-to cloud kitchen for quarantined foodies. Owned by dessert chef Jayatri Biswas, who’s trained under celebrated pastry chef Dominique Ansel, the brand is now delivering artisanal goodness to your doorsteps.
“When I started out, people and even my parents were like, 'you want to make ice cream? But we get ice cream!' There was a lot of communication involved where I made my clients understand what artisanal ice cream is, why it’s different,” says Jayatri, who is also one of the few chefs from the city who makes mochi ice cream. We caught up with the dessert maker to learn more about her brand:
Tell us how you got your start
I have always been a pastry chef. A couple of years back I got an incredible opportunity to go to New York and work with chef Dominique Ansel. I came back in February last year and I had a whole new perspective on desserts. I really wanted to work with ice cream because I had seen how adventurous you can be with ice cream. There were so many flavours which Kolkata could use, and the city didn't have a whole lot of good quality, craft ice cream.
You've always put a lot of focus on your ingredients
Yes, good quality ingredients have always been a priority for me. We know so many manufacturers use palm oil in their ice creams, but I wanted to use the right kind of natural ingredients. I take the effort of sourcing fresh cream, milk etc. I'm very conscious about staying away from toxic ingredients.
What are your most popular flavours?
Raw mango chilli, it is an interesting take on the kaccha aam element. Then there's brown butter almond, my sorbets do really great in summer. My ice cream sandwiches are also really popular but I'm having troubles sourcing dry ice right now.
Tell us about your delivery options
I'm resuming with my third party delivery service very soon, so besides food apps, people can call in directly. And we are taking safety measures very seriously. Since I don't have any staff coming in (I gave them a leave even before the lockdown started because I work with people who may not afford to safely commute), so everything is made and packaged by me, there's limited human contact, which reduces risk of contamination. And to be honest, we have always been vigilant about sanitising kitchens etc so it was never that big a leap. We do check if the delivery person is wearing a mask and is adhering to safety measures.
Tell us about the response your artisanal ice cream found in the city
People in the city largely rely on a few flavours, even now, most people want chocolate. But the way I convinced them was by telling them if you want chocolate try a different kind of chocolate, something you won't forget. Considering we still get ice creams at 10 bucks, my artisanal products are obviously somewhat more expensive so it was important for me to make people understand what I'm doing. I think when they tasted it, they understood how artisanal ice cream differs from normal ice cream, in flavour and texture. Even when it's melting a store bought ice cream is like flavoured water, my ice cream melts like a mousse.