By Sebastian Meresman
Buenos Aires, Nov 9 (EFE).- Argentine soccer fans, like people in many parts of the world, have been filling out their sticker albums for months in anticipation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.
But now a new ice cream flavor launched Monday to coincide with Authentic Artisanal Ice Cream Week has given them another way to show their passion for The Beautiful Game and the Albiceleste.
Known as “Dulce Scaloneta,” that cold, tasty, dulce de leche- (carmalized milk-) based flavor was launched by the Association of Artisanal Makers of Ice Cream and Related Products (AFADHYA) to pay tribute to Argentina’s national soccer team and has all the makings of a big seller.
It refers to a nickname – La Scaloneta – that fans gave the squad during the 2021 Copa America in Brazil, where under the guidance of head coach Lionel Scaloni and the strong play of all-time great Lionel Messi they ended a 28-year championship drought in that competition.
Expectations about this year’s World Cup have since soared to even greater heights after Argentina – current ranked No. 3 in the FIFA world rankings – backed up their continental title by soundly defeating Italy (winners of Euro 2020) 3-0 on June 1 in the 2022 Finalissima event in Wembley Stadium.
“I’m sure the World Cup always arouses a desire not only to eat but to have a good time, to be with one’s family, with friends. And ice cream always has to be there. Without a doubt, ice cream is the Argentine dessert and can’t be absent from any table. Especially when it’s time to celebrate,” Eduardo Zacaria, a master ice cream maker and member of AFADHYA, told Efe.
“I have no doubt that ‘Dulce Scaloneta’ is going to have a direct impact on sales,” he added.
The new ice cream features the brown color of dulce de leche and chunks of crunchy white chocolate, but a decision was made not to give it the light blue of the Argentine flag by using food coloring.
Maximiliano Maccarrone, president of AFADHYA, told Efe that the results of a recent market study the association commissioned were encouraging and said the group expects that “Dulce Scaloneta” will help position Argentine artisanal ice cream as one of the world’s best.
“Seven of every 10 Argentines who travel abroad recognize that Argentine ice cream is superior to that (found in) other parts of the world. 85 percent say artisanal ice cream represents us just as Argentine meat or wine does. They’re preliminary results, but they indicate that we’re points of reference worldwide,” Maccarrone said. EFE