They’ve turned the humble ice cream sandwich into summer’s coolest snack!

Few things tickle the palate quite as much as a shot of nostalgia — that sudden rush of joy at a long-forgotten childhood flavour.

So I note with glee the return to form of ice cream sandwiches, or ‘sandos’ to use the new hipster parlance for them.

Given a posh makeover, the traditional treats are surging in popularity as we continue to melt across Britain.

But these new sandwiches are rather more elevated than the old-school blocks of ‘dairy vanilla’ stuck between cardboard-esque wafers that many of us remember from our youth.

Foodies can even find them at top restaurants — dreamy cardamom and coconut ice cream sandwiched between sticky baklava at luxury ice cream parlor Darlish in St Albans, Hertfordshire, or deep-fried bao buns filled with malty Horlicks ice cream at trendy Taiwanese spot Bao in central London.

2022: Supermarkets, delis and luxury ice cream brands are offering many varieties.

Nostalgic ice cream sandwiches are back in Britain with a posh makeover. Supermarkets, delis and luxury ice cream brands are offering many varieties. Left: 1970s and Right: 2022

Supermarkets, delis and luxury ice cream brands also offer plenty of delicious options to try, many available for nationwide delivery. (Yes, it really is possible to deliver ice cream sarnies — as long as they are packed with sufficient dry ice and insulation.)

So beat the heat with a rather chic trip down memory lane…

RETURN OF THE MAC

Papila Collection Le Macaron Ice Cream Au Chocolat, £6.50 for two, waitrose.com.  The ice cream tastes authentically of vanilla bean and the chocolate macaron has a lovely bitter flavor that mitigates the sweetness

Papila Collection Le Macaron Ice Cream Au Chocolat, £6.50 for two, waitrose.com. The ice cream tastes authentically of vanilla bean and the chocolate macaron has a lovely bitter flavor that mitigates the sweetness

Papila Collection Le Macaron Ice Cream Au Chocolat, £6.50 for two, waitrose.com

WHAT IS IT?

A collaboration between world-renowned patissier Pierre Herme, whose macarons are generally agreed to be the best, and a French start-up. Choose chocolate, or raspberry and lychee, macarons filled with ice cream.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

These impeccably made macarons keep their delicate shell and have a light-asa-cloud texture within.

The ice cream tastes authentically of vanilla bean and the chocolate macaron has a lovely bitter flavor that mitigates the sweetness. These are impressive and would make a lovely, special summer dessert when entertaining, yet not wanting to bake.

VERDICT: A truly special summer dessert. 4.5/5

THE CREAM OF COOKIES

Badiani Gelato Cookies, £27 for six, badiani1932.com.  The chocolate chip cookie, coated in more dark chocolate, is quite thick and filled with vanilla gelato

Badiani Gelato Cookies, £27 for six, badiani1932.com. The chocolate chip cookie, coated in more dark chocolate, is quite thick and filled with vanilla gelato

Badiani Gelato Cookies, £27 for six, badiani1932.com

WHAT IS IT?

A classic ice cream sandwich from Badiani, a supreme gelato maker founded in Florence back in 1932.

The chocolate chip cookie, coated in more dark chocolate, is quite thick and filled with vanilla gelato — or there’s the option of stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate flakes) gelato wedged between cookies with a white chocolate coating. Gelato is made with less cream than ice cream, and has less air introduced into the mixture due to a slower churning process.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

The biscuits had a pleasing crumble to them yet retained bite, and the half coating in decent-quality chocolate adds to the sense of indulgence.

There is a good ratio of sandwich to ultra-smooth, dense and creamy gelato with a pronounced elasticity. They give the kind of satisfying experience an ice cream sandwich should.

VERDICT: A nostalgic hit. 3.5/5

TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS

Ruby Violet DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches, £10 for a kit of ten biscuits, rubyviolet.co.uk.  They are the size of a small burger with a multitude of flavor permutations, such as peanut butter, double chocolate chip, or white chocolate & cranberry

Ruby Violet DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches, £10 for a kit of ten biscuits, rubyviolet.co.uk. They are the size of a small burger with a multitude of flavor permutations, such as peanut butter, double chocolate chip, or white chocolate & cranberry

Ruby Violet DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches, £10 for a kit of ten biscuits, rubyviolet.co.uk

WHAT IS IT?

Ruby Violet founder Julie Fisher, a former photographer, takes ice cream ingredients very seriously — even the jam for her raspberry ripple flavor is handmade. These substantial ice cream sandwiches come as a kit so you can assemble your own freshly at home. They are the size of a small burger with a multitude of flavor permutations, such as peanut butter, double chocolate chip, or white chocolate & cranberry. You can add on a tub of its ice cream to your order.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

The cookie has a good chewy consistency, with added almonds on the bitter chocolate and shards of crisp wafer on the ruby ​​chocolate adding texture. The ice cream has a seductive smoothness, too.

I was also impressed by the size of each sand. Overall, the perfect scrumptious sandwich with a clean bite that then melts away on the tongue.

VERDICT: Totally worth splurging out on. 5/5

QUIRKY TREAT

M&S Ice Cream Mini Bites, £3.50 for six, ocado.com.  They come in a wide range of looks and flavors from salted caramel to birthday cake, appealing to both adults and children

M&S Ice Cream Mini Bites, £3.50 for six, ocado.com. They come in a wide range of looks and flavors from salted caramel to birthday cake, appealing to both adults and children

M&S Ice Cream Mini Bites, £3.50 for six, ocado.com

WHAT IS IT?

Small but mighty, these are a fun riff on the brand’s bestselling Mini Bites — moreish, snack-sized sweet treats in a range of flavors. This is the new frozen version: more like truffle-shaped balls of ice cream covered in cookie dough than a traditional ice cream sandwich.

They come in a wide range of looks and flavors from salted caramel to birthday cake, appealing to both adults and children.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

Enjoyably creamy, light ice cream with rather mild flavors: the salted caramel was a little too subtle for me. The gluten-free caramel cookie dough coating with oat-based cookie crumb was rather odd, tasting too much of dried milk powder, which didn’t enhance the overall sensation.

But the birthday cake cookie dough ice cream, coated in hundreds and thousands, worked better and would be lovely for summer parties. The long list of ingredients is concerning (why tapioca starch or beeswax?) and there is rather a lot of sugar, too.

VERDICT: Fun Frankenfood. 3/5

SUPER SOPHISTICATED

Crolla & Mollica Ice Cream Tartufo, £5 for two, waitrose.com.  There¿s pistachio gelato at the centre, surrounded by creamy almond gelato hand-rolled in pistachio crumb

Crolla & Mollica Ice Cream Tartufo, £5 for two, waitrose.com. There’s pistachio gelato at the centre, surrounded by creamy almond gelato hand-rolled in pistachio crumb

Crolla & Mollica Ice Cream Tartufo, £5 for two, waitrose.com

WHAT IS IT?

A new product, these ‘gelato truffles’ or tartufi are Southern Italian-style balls of ice cream with a coating of pistachio or chocolate. Ideal for instant dinner party entertaining, it would, however, be stretching credibility to claim you made them yourself.

I tested the Pistachio & Almond, but Caffe Latte or Hazelnut & Chocolate are also available.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

This tartufo ice cream elicited instant gasps of ‘wow’ for its sublime balance of sophisticated flavours. There’s pistachio gelato at the centre, surrounded by creamy almond gelato hand-rolled in pistachio crumb, plus a dark chocolate version..

VERDICT: A sublime, balanced treat guaranteed to impress. 5/5

NAUGHTY BUT NICE

Happy Endings The Naughty One, £4.50 to £5, happyendingsldn.com.  Young British Foodie Award-winner Terri Mercieca has been trailblazing with her de ella bold, modern ice cream sandwiches since 2014

Happy Endings The Naughty One, £4.50 to £5, happyendingsldn.com. Young British Foodie Award-winner Terri Mercieca has been trailblazing with her de ella bold, modern ice cream sandwiches since 2014

Happy Endings The Naughty One, £4.50 to £5, happyendingsldn.com

WHAT IS IT?

Young British Foodie Award-winner Terri Mercieca has been trailblazing with her bold, modern ice cream sandwiches since 2014.

Using impeccably sourced sustainable ingredients, Happy Endings is the pinnacle of adult ice cream, with grown-up prices to match.

There are brilliant, punchy flavors for those wanting something different, such as strawberry cheesecake parfait and, for vegans, a corn-and-cashew ice cream with salted caramel, which comes between a miso-and-corn cookie.

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

I particularly liked The Naughty One: a salted caramel-and-miso parfait squished between fine layers of chocolate stout cake. It is rich, salty and creamy, with loads of umami contrast. For those who like their flavors bold and quirky.

VERDICT: Too good to share. . .

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