September 13, 2018 6:19 pm

Calgary Zoo brings back a taste of 1988 with new versions of panda ice cream

WATCH: The chilly weather may not make this the greatest week for eating ice cream in Calgary, but many people can't resist the chance to sample a special new flavour. Gil Tucker has more from the Calgary Zoo, where this sweet treat is part of the panda party.

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“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.

READ MORE: Thousands turn out to see the pandas at the Calgary Zoo

Proud of her company Fiasco Gelato’s newest offering, she enjoyed explaining it to zoo visitors.

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“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.”

Fiasco is one of three Calgary ice cream makers, along with DelloR and UTCA, that have created flavours for a new contest called Pandalicious.

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.

READ MORE: Panda visit to Calgary brings back the magic of 1988 for veteran zookeeper: ‘This is so cool!’

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.

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