When I was little, in one corner of the shopping arcade at the heart of my hometown, there was a small satellite store of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. At the time, my family was living on a tight budget, and even though we physically lived close to the store, we rarely went there. In fact, I hadn’t even known about it until one day my mother took me to the store after we’d finished a long mundane shopping task in the city centre.
“Do you want to have some ice cream?” My mother suddenly asked me in a rather kind voice.
I thought about the box of ice candies in the freezer back home. I always loved eating those. I eagerly nodded.
“Okay, then let’s go to a special place today. There is a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop nearby. You’ve never had a Häagen-Dazs ice cream, have you?”
Of course I hadn’t. The name sounded foreign to me, but exciting at the same time. We walked for a few more blocks until we came upon a tiny corner store. My mother went inside and I followed her.
It was indeed a very tiny store. On one side, there was a display of different ice cream flavours, and on the other, there was a small eating area by the window. It was my first time to see the inside of a real ice cream shop. I was intrigued.
While I was mesmerized by the colours of different ice cream flavours behind the glass, my mother quickly ordered a strawberry ice cream for us with a cone. Once the ice cream was ready, she led me to the counter table by the window.
“There,” she said, sitting and holding the ice cream between us. “A strawberry ice cream. But you’ll be amazed how delicious it is!”
We started eating the ice cream in turns. When I had my first bite, I was surprised that it had actual strawberries in it. The ice cream gently melted on my tongue and created a wonderful mix with the strawberry pieces. It was certainly different from any other ice cream that I had ever tasted.
“It’s delicious,” I said, totally captured by the magic of the ice cream. “So, this is a Häagen-Dazs ice cream…”
As we took each bite, we commented how it was delicious and different from other ice creams we bought at grocery stores. Even the cone felt extra crispy and flavourful, and my mother, who was not easily pleased by sweets, looked completely satisfied by the treat, too.
Through this whole experience, my admiration for Häagen-Dazs ice creams was eternally engraved in my heart. Years later, when Häagen-Dazs started selling their ice creams at grocery stores and they became more easily accessible to my family, in my mind, Häagen-Dazs ice creams remained a luxury item saved only for a special occasion.