Pet Peeve Petak: the Belgrade ban on…Magnum Ice Cream
Ok, I admit it: I’ve got a soft spot for Belgrade. I’ve always focused on the things I loved about the city, because there were more than enough negative misconceptions about it. And yet, after two years of managing this blog, I think I’m ready to log a serious complaint about the white city.
There is, as of this September, NO MAGNUM ICE CREAM in Belgrade.
I was first alerted to Magnum Ice Cream in August 2011. My friend Majmun came to visit Belgrade, and after a long walk we decided to buy the sweet stuff. She looked at various ice cream carts before asking me, “Do you have Magnum ice cream here?” I shrugged, and she extolled the virtues of the Magnum. Thick chocolate! Vanilla bean-flecked ice cream! Every flavor delicious!
I thought she was overselling it, until we encountered it while walking in Sarajevo a few days later.
It. Was. Amazing.
After discovering the magic of magnum, I redoubled my efforts to find it in Belgrade, only to come up empty-handed. So Muz and I decided to try to find it in other countries. We ate raspberry Magnum in Vienna, Classic Magnum in Macedonia, Almond Magnum in Budapest, Caramel Magnum in Croatia, and even had a Magnum McFlurry at a McDonald’s in Prague. (Don’t judge–they had great wireless!)
We traveled quite a bit, but it never took the sting out of missing Magnum in Serbia. It was available over almost every border: in Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia, and (I think) Slovenia. It felt a bit cruel. What’s preventing Serbia from importing Magnum?
In retrospect, maybe it was a good thing we didn’t have Magnum in Belgrade. It would have become less special, or we would’ve become a lot bigger. And there are plenty of other outlets for the ice cream itch in town. Now that we’re back, we still keep it as a special treat. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious pet peeve.