New York Times Review
Find Heritage Kulfi’s Intense Flavors at Kalustyan’s
March 28, 2022
The New York Times’ legendary food reviewer Florence Fabricant describes our ice cream as “velvety,” “alluring,” and “intense” with flavors that “soar.” Read the whole review!
Unique New Ice Cream Company Launches in Princeton, NJ
Heritage Kulfi, an ice cream company based in Princeton, just launched a line of premium ice creams. Founder and CEO Mansoor Ahmed has lived in Princeton since 2014 with his wife, who teaches at Princeton University. The ice creams are sold at grocery stores in the NY/NJ/PA region.
The company name Heritage Kulfi is a nod to Ahmed’s South Asian background and love of an Indian style of ice cream called kulfi, which is best known for its extremely creamy taste and dense texture. Because the inspiration behind the ice cream is kulfi, all Ahmed’s eight flavors (which include the classics like Pistachio and Alphonso Mango but also unique hits like Saffron, Rosewater, and Cardamom Chai) are made with very little air and lots of cream.
Having worked in distribution of other South Asian ice creams for several years, he saw an opportunity to make something new. Ahmed started his own company to make the highest quality ice cream with locally-sourced, premium ingredients. This was not an easy task with the supply chain and sourcing disruptions of the past two years. But he secured the ingredients and fine-tuned the recipes in time to launch this winter.
[Pictured below: Closeups on the premium saffron and Earl Grey tea leaves used to make Heritage Kulfi ice cream.]
Ahmed spent all of 2020 and most of 2021 in intensive research and development of his ice cream recipes. He focused on ingredients that form the building blocks of South Asian cuisine, like saffron. Sourcing the highest grade of saffron was only the first challenge. Then the perfect canvas of sweet cream base had to be designed for the ingredient to shine. The idea is simple: excellent ingredients elevated by an excellent pedestal. Heritage Kulfi’s Saffron ice cream is a study in simplicity that ends up inviting the complex flavor of saffron to bloom. What emerges is something aromatic and intense with notes of honey and lemongrass. For those unfamiliar with saffron, this ice cream is an excellent introduction to a new flavor central to South Asian cuisine.
[Pictured below: Heritage Kulfi’s Saffron pint and saffron scoop.]
A few flavors required reinventing the industry’s standards for ice cream production. Ahmed wanted to make an ice cream that captured the taste, smell, and feeling of homemade chai. The biggest issue with that idea? Chai spices change in the cooking process, and existing methods of ice cream production could not replicate this difference. So Ahmed invented a totally new process for drawing out the full breadth of spices like cardamom and cloves. The result is a perfectly sweet and layered scoop of Cardamom Chai. Another flavor, Earl Grey, is also made using his newly engineered method.
[Pictured below: Heritage Kulfi’s Cardamom Chai ice cream scoop and production.]
Beyond the unique flavors, all Heritage Kulfi ice creams are all natural, non-GMO, gluten free, and egg free. In particular, the choice not to use eggs is unusual in the luxury ice cream world. It is important to Ahmed to make ice cream without eggs for a few reasons: first of all, many South Asians keep a vegetarian diet and avoid eggs, and he felt it was important to respect and include as much of the community as possible. On top of that, Princeton is part of a thriving regional ice cream culture. There are many seasoned ice cream makers in the area, and the most prominent approach is fittingly called Philadelphia style. In this style, no eggs are used. The goal is to highlight milk and cream. It was a no-brainer for Ahmed, then, to keep all his recipes vegetarian-friendly and egg free.
About the Founder
Mansoor Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of Heritage Kulfi, a premium ice cream company based in Princeton, NJ. These unique ice creams are inspired by South Asian flavors and use the highest quality, all natural ingredients. In 2021, Heritage Kulfi launched a line of eight ice cream flavors in two sizes. Heritage Kulfi is a certified minority-owned business.
Ahmed’s passion for making ice cream is motivated by a love for folding together nostalgic, sentimental flavors from his upbringing in a South Asian family with innovative cooking techniques and locally-sourced ingredients. He hopes his ice creams will serve to showcase gems of South Asian cuisine.
Before founding the company, Ahmed studied at Manhattan College and Columbia University. He was born in Manhattan and grew up in Yonkers, and his family lives in upstate New York. Despite being a lifelong and diehard New Yorker, he is now happy to have crossed the bridge and settled in Princeton.
Phone: (609) 436-0234