“Here you go, sweetie!”
It’s a phrase Paige Pinder was using a lot as she spooned out samples of ice cream in the Panda Passage area of the Calgary Zoo.
Proud of her company Fiasco Gelato’s newest offering, she enjoyed explaining it to zoo visitors.
“That one’s the Coconut Pandan Panda gelato,” Pinder said, adding the pandan and the pandas make a perfect combo. “Pandan is a leaf and it’s commonly used in southeast Asian desserts.”
Visitors to any of the three shops can post photos of themselves enjoying one of the panda-related flavours to Instagram, which will enter them in a contest to win a special breakfast visit with the pandas.
It’s inspired by a tradition that goes back 30 years.
“So this is the actual box that the ice cream came in back in 1988,” zoo spokesperson Trish Exton-Parder told people visiting the pandas.
A version of slice cream featuring the face of a panda was a huge hit when the pandas were in Calgary that year.
“As soon as we made the announcement that we were having the pandas come back this year,” Exton-Parder said, “we had more and more people asking us: ‘What are you going to do about the ice cream? Can you bring it back?'”
The contest runs until Sept. 28.
You can find more information on the contest here.