The definitive list of Portugal's most nostalgic ice creams from Olá, guaranteed to take you down memory lane.
There are few brands as beloved in Portugal as Olá. And perhaps none that induce quite as much nostalgia for beach days and carefree afternoons.
Ask anyone who spent time in Portugal as a kid — there is no greater excitement than walking briskly to a café on a sweltering summer day, frantically searching for that year's Olá poster, and carefully eyeing each gelado (ice cream) before ultimately deciding which flavor of Cornetto to get. Or boldly choosing which of Olá's newest creations to taste. Or successfully convincing vovó that a Calippo IS more than just a tube of ice!
A memorable brand for all generations
The brand that asks you to "diz olá" (say hello) first launched in Portugal in 1959 and, incredibly, is still going strong, making its way into the cherished memories of today's youth. In fact, a 2021 Havas brand report revealed that Olá is among the 10 most meaningful brands in Portugal.
Fun Fact: In 1983, an Olá ice cream could cost as little as 10 escudos. Adjusting for inflation and converting to the euro, that equates to 30 cents today!
One of Olá's brilliant tactics to stay relevant with new generations is the introduction of a new cartaz (poster) each year. Once released, kids and adults alike are abuzz with chatter: expressing excitement to taste this year's new flavors and creations and for those that are making a comeback from years prior. See every Olá poster since 1970 here.
Recently, we nudged our followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to name their favorite Olá ice cream of all time. And loved seeing all of the responses you shared. In fact, it inspired us to create this list of the 10 most nostalgic Olá gelados of all time! Take a walk down memory lane with us and revisit classics by Olá. Don't worry, many of these ice creams are still available in Portugal!
Say olá to the coolest person you know:
The most nostalgic Olá ice creams are:
Making its debut in 1973, the Epá made ice cream even more rewarding by adding a surprise gum ball at the very bottom. Packaged in a plastic cone, the Epá is a scoop of classic vanilla ice cream atop a very hard piece of gum that, sadly, turned bland in 5 seconds flat. While underwhelming to some, few ice creams have brought more joy to Portuguese children than the Epá.
The original Cornetto, a waffle cone filled with vanilla ice cream drizzled with threads of hard chocolate and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, first appeared in 1973. The following year, the timeless Cornetto de morango (strawberry) was introduced. Since then, Cornetto has evolved into countless new flavor iterations from mocha to white chocolate to tangerine to cookie crush and more. But its classic and strawberry flavors stand the test of time!
Fun Fact: 10,000,000 Cornettos de morango are sold in Portugal each year, making it the best-selling ice cream in the country.
The enduring success of the Cornetto led to the introduction of Cornetto Soft, a new line that offers up a soft serve version of the classic ice cream. Cornetto Soft flavors are only available in Portuguese cafés and restaurants that have a special machine dedicated to serving up the smooth treat.
PERNA DE PAU
Two years after giving Portugal a strawberry ice cream to lust after, Olá struck again with the Perna de Pau. Launched in 1976, the it added two bands of strawberry ice cream (of a somewhat gel-like consistency) to a simple vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate. Its packaging also introduced Olá's famous pirate, whose perna de pau (wooden leg) is the ice cream's namesake.
This year, for the first time in its history, Perna de Pau introduced a new variation in green packaging that replaced its strawberry bands of ice cream with lime in celebration of Sporting Lisbon becoming Portugals' 2021 national soccer champions.
The Fizz is Portugal's answer to the orange creamsicle — it's a lime green popsicle that encases creamy lemon-flavored ice cream (nope it's not lime, the color is deceiving). While it's not everyone's go-to Olá ice cream, it's in high demand on those quintessential beach days when the sun's summer rays are beaming down in full force.
First introduced in 1980, the Fizz disappeared from Olá's posters in 1996 and stayed away for nearly 15 years. After a comedian mentioned the Fizz, fans of the ice cream launched a social media campaign demanding its comeback. In response, Olá reintroduced the Fizz in 2010. Graças a Deus!
Created exclusively for the Portuguese market, Olá's Super Maxi was introduced in 1980. The Super Maxi features classic vanilla ice cream coated in a fine layer of dipped dark chocolate. It's a humble ice cream that found a loyal following amongst a humble people. Over the years, fruit flavors were added including strawberry, orange, and banana. But these novelty flavors didn't last long. In 2018, the Super Maxi was discontinued in cafés and restaurants but can still be bought by the box in grocery stores.
Hold that thought...gonna get some Olá-inspired fanfare!
The Calippo's tropical flair first splashed into Portugal in 1980. It stood out for being a flavored ice treat molded into a cardboard tube, challenging Olá's traditional concept of ice cream. Not only that, but it required learning a whole new trick: popping the ice away from the sides so that you could push it out of the tube to enjoy. The popular kid was the one who could do this the fastest! Today, strawberry and lemon flavored Calippos reign strong but past favorites include pina colada, coca cola, and orange.
You're 5-years-old staring up at an Olá poster, mouth watering. You ask for a Cornetto. Grandma says no. You ask for a Calippo. Grandma says no. You ask for an Epá. Grandma says no. "Toma um Mini Milk," she says. By offering you the Mini Milk, she feels like she's given you a treat — maybe not the one you wanted, but a treat nonetheless.
This was the genius of the Mini Milk, which launched in 1988. It gave parents and grandparents something they could give little kids while their older brothers and sisters chomped away on one of Olá's more glorious ice creams. The Mini Milk was nothing more than a small (really small!) bite of frozen milk, but it was a taste of what was to come one day. Though quietly discontinued, it will forever remain in the memories of millennials.
Before Magnum Caramel & Nuts, there was the Rol. Three Rol flavors appear on the 1991 Olá cartaz with the "Novo" sticker but some sources suggest that the original Rol launched one or two years prior. As it name suggests, it's a roll of ice cream that requires no popsicle stick or spoon thanks to its hard chocolate shell. Inspired by the neapolitan ice cream trio, the Rol marries together a creamy mix of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel ice creams.
Fun Fact: The Rol had a brief comeback when it was brought back as a limited edition to celebrate Olá's 50th anniversary.
When the Magnum Classic first appeared in Portugal in 1991, it exuded luxury. Premium priced and enveloped in gold packaging, the Magnum elevated your average ice cream by encasing intensely creamy vanilla ice cream in a crisp chocolate shell made of pure Belgian chocolate, known for its iconic crack when you bite into it.
In 1997, the Magnum Amêndoa (almond) was introduced and quickly became a Portuguese favorite, along with the Double Caramel. Magnum has since introduced increasingly unique and complex flavors such as its latest edition, the Magnum Ruby: vanilla ice cream with ribbons of ruby chocolate dipped in a pink, ruby chocolate shell.
For some reason, fruit-flavored ice creams are often short-lived in Olá's rotation. But Solero is the exception as it continues to appear on Olá's posters year after year. Introduced in 1996, the Solero is, in our personal opinion, an absolute dream to eat while sitting on warm sand, watching ocean waves crash down. Its original flavor, Solero Exótico, is a vanilla ice cream bar encased by tropical fruit sorbet, a tart flavor bomb if you will. For the fruit lovers out there, the Solero was, and perhaps still is, your go-to ice cream when in Portugal.
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Diário de Notícias: https://www.dn.pt/bolsa/50-anos-a-refrescar-os-portugueses-1400696.html
Marketeer Magazine/Revista, #300, July 2021