ILE DE RE (Reuters) - Traditional ice cream parlour La Martiniere on Ile de Re has created a special ice cream inspired by the Colombian singer Shakira to welcome the Spanish soccer team and the singer herself to the island, hoping to make it a summer hit among visitors.
Shakira is spending some days on the island accompanying her partner, Spanish defender Gerard Pique, during the Euro 2016 currently played in France. La Martiniere, considered the best home-made ice-cream parlour on the island, has sold Nata lechada de Arequipe since the beginning of the Euro 2016.
Owner Francois-Xavier Cathala, who took over La Martiniere in 2002 from his parents, wanted to create a Spanish-coloured or Spanish-flavoured ice-cream as soon as he learned that the team would stay on the island and has even considered the famous pork sausage chorizo as one of the ingredients.
But in the end he decided to go for a sweeter flavour after hearing that Spaniards prefer milky tastes and created Nata de Arequipe, in which he mixes milk, creme fraiche and sugar, crowning it with arequipe or dulce de leche in a wink to Shakira.
Arequipe is a very sweet toffee, made by slowly simmering milk and sugar, stirring almost constantly. It can be eaten alone or with fruit, biscuits or toast.
Spain are recovering from a costly 2-1 defeat to Croatia at Euro 2016 and focusing on next week's showdown in the round of 16 with Italy.
Cathala tries to use and promote the most traditional products in the region like Poitou-Charentes butter, Mara de bois strawberries or Fleur de Sel caramel, original from the island itself. They even have oyster-flavoured ice cream - a big success among tourists. At the harbour of St Martin, the centre of activity on the island, families queued in front of La Martiniere to get their refreshment.
On a good summer day, La Martiniere produces over a tonne of ice-cream, and Cathala is considering creating a special ice-cream to honour the winner of the tournament.