|On the way home this afternoon, while the -8C wind blew
past me, I got the urge to participate in a strange Russian custom,
eating ice cream on the street, year around.
When I first arrived in summer I noticed that everyone ate ice cream
bars at ever chance to do so. I would see people buy them just
before getting on the bus or metro, as they walked down the street, and
after dinner. Since it was summer, and hot, I thought it was a
great idea. The ice cream is not all that exciting, with chocolate
coated vanilla as the most popular type, but the quantity and price
makes up for it.
As fall progressed, and the temperatures dropped, ice cream
consumption did not. I was stumped for a while until I realized
why the Russians ate so much ice cream. When you are on the street
here, there isn’t much else in the way of quick food to eat. There
are kiosks selling chips and beer food, the occasional hot dog stand,
and bread stores, but none have the advantages of ice cream.
Ice cream is tasty, quite portable, sold everywhere, and in
winter, not very messy, so its amazingly convenient.
The little freezer stands that sell ice cream usually have half the
freezer devotes to frozen vegetables, or other types of food, so the
vendors get a good cross section of customers. The carts are easy to
move, the better to stay ahead of the militizi and the mafia, and cheap
to operate. In winter you don’t need to have the freezers packed
with dry ice, just leave the tops open and the cold air will keep the
Actually, all the ice cream is a bad influence on Russia and I.
Russian teeth don’t fare too well with all the sugar and my
waistline is under attack from the milk fat. Oh well, its winter!
Where is the next ice cream stand?