K Rustoms and Why Google was right to pick the name Ice Cream Sandwich

This October Google is rolling out the latest version of its Android operating system, codenamed Marshmallow. This series is called after confectionery, starting alphabetically with Cupcake, Donut and Éclair. This may be an attempt to make something technical sound inviting, but I must admit I didn’t pay much attention until they got to I for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Article by Vikram Doctor | Economic Times


My first thought, when I saw that, was that it was surprising they chose an almost vanished way to serve ice cream. And my second was that I had an immediate need for a Walnut Crunch from K Rustom, one of the few places in Mumbai that still serves ice-cream sandwiches.

K Rustom is an unassuming place near Churchgate station. It was founded in 1953 and is still run by one of the daughters of the founder. The family is Parsi, a reminder how the community has contributed to ice-cream in the city. In Gillian Tindall’s history City of Gold Sir Jamshetji Jeejeebhoy is said to have been the first to serve it and a Parsi cook at the Adelphi hotel perfected it for commercial sale. Dinshaw’s (originally of Nagpur) is a well-known Parsi run ice-cream brand and we can only hope Parsi Dairy’s matchless kulfis will survive the firm’s imminent closure.


Whatever problems others have in ever-changing Mumbai, K Rustom has remained nearly the same, and so has my order. I know they have other flavours like Bitter Chocolate and Roast Almond and even a new — relatively, since it’s been around for some years — Paan version, but when I’m actually there, somehow all I can ask for is this combination of plain ice-cream and walnut praline.

The sandwich is simply a slab of icecream between two crisp wafers. Eating it is an education both on why icecream sandwiches lost out to ice-cream cones and what a pity this is. Cones are often said to have been invented at the St Louis World Fair in 1904, but the new Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets dates the earliest mention to a Venetian confectioner in 1724. They a r e per fe c t product design — providing a holder for the ice-cream scoop that is consumed as the ice-cream is eaten, leaving no waste.

Cones also prevent you getting icecream on your hands, providing you lick the scoop correctly around the edges (some children evidently need lessons on this). But with ice-cream sandwiches, some mess is usually guaranteed, and you can’t just lick, but need to bite into the ice-cream, which can be painful for sensitive teeth.

Yet cones also pull a trick on the consumer. The scoop makes the cone seem fuller than it is, but of course, the cone is hollow (unlike a filled cornetto) and the product design requires the eater to push the ice-cream inside to fill this void. By contrast, the sandwich is honest — the slab you see is what you get, and the immense satisfaction it provides, particularly with a K Rustom Walnut Crunch, is reason why Google was so right to pick the Ice Cream Sandwich.