Of all the different food I have tried since moving to Dubai, I did not expect to take such a shining to camel milk ice cream.
Not being able to tolerate much lactose, camel’s milk is a bit of a saviour for me. It doesn’t have as higher levels of lactose as cow’s milk, which – luckily for me – means I can tolerate it. As a result, I’ve enjoyed camel milk – in flavours such as date and saffron, no less – and camel milk chocolate. But my favorite dromedary related treat? Camel ice cream.
Camel milk, along with dates, is one of the staples of the Emirati diet. Given the historically nomadic lifestyle of the Emirati people, camel milk provided important nutrition and sustenance. For people like myself who are unable to process cow’s milk, the mineral-rich milk offers a fantastic (and delicious!) alternative.
I was first introduced to Nouq camel milk ice cream at the Barsha Pond Park Night Markets. I was expecting a bit of a ho-hum experience… I think there is a certain amount of ‘ick’ factor to get over, which is ridiculous when you consider how readily we consume cows milk! But it was amazing. It was delicious and creamy, and reminded me of the Kapiti ice cream we used to have back home. It is honestly some of the nicest ice cream I have ever tasted. I’ve been back to the night markets a few time to sample it again!
Nouq is a local company launched in 2016 by Frederic and Stephan, who source local camel milk for their delicious confections. As well as offering 14 (yes, 14!) flavours of ice cream, they also craft artisan chocolates, and Belgian chocolate drinking powder mix. Nouq supplies 5-star hotels, restaurants and cafés across the UAE. Products can be purchased directly from 21 Gourmet Street, or at a number of cafés and restaurants in Dubai – including the Arabian Tea House, Seven Sands Emirati Restaurant and Nine7One – and at Ripe organic stores. During the winter, you can also purchase Nouq products at the Barsha Pond Park Night Markets and Ripe Market at Zabeel Park.