“ Brand: Oxo / Product Type: Tray „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Novelty ice cube trays have been available for some time now, enabling you to add ice shaped like fruit, cartoon characters, parts of the human anatomy or a myriad of other shapes to guests' drinks at your party and of course being quite literally, an ice breaker.
I have never really bothered much with these before. I remember buying some star shaped ice cube trays in IKEA some years ago but wasn't very impressed with them. They were made from a rubbery material and even when you ran them under a warm tap it was very difficult to release the ice stars from the tray, so I reverted to normal ice cube trays.
I recently won some prizes in dooyoo's Ten Days of Christmas competition and one of the prizes I received was Paladone's "Global Warming" ice cube tray. I must admit this isn't the sort of thing I would ever have bought myself, but I try to be a game old bird these days, so I duly removed the ice cube tray from the packaging, filled it with water and popped it in the freezer.
The packaging for the ice cube tray reads "cool it down with these little frozen land masses", and sure enough, you can make out various land masses quite easily on the tray - there are seven to be precise. The UK is represented through Scotland, England and Wales in one land mass. After that you have continental Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North America and South America.
The tray is bright blue and made from a pliable plastic.
As a novelty item, this is quite funny, although obviously the success of the ice cubes in being more than just a passing curiosity will depend on how well someone takes finding, for instance, Africa, floating on the top of their gin and tonic. You're also going to have to be pretty quick handing these out as it won't take long for North America to stop resembling a land mass and start resembling a random shaped lump of ice. A bit like Alaska I suppose.
On a practical level, the tray is actually very well made and easy to use. Unlike the star trays I had in the past, getting the land mass shaped ice out of the tray is a doddle - the plastic moves easily enabling you to press the cube out without much in the way of difficulty. I would recommend, however, that you don't fill the land mass shapes on the tray up to the brim - leaving a small area free at the top makes it much easier to remove the ice.
I found it took about four hours or so for the ice to set in my freezer and I was relieved to see that the shapes held firm once removed. I had been particularly concerned at Europe breaking up upon removal from the tray. This has nothing to do with me being some sort of Eurosceptic and everything to do with the fact I feared Scandinavia or the Iberian peninsula could break off the ice land mass at any moment but my fears were unfounded. Similarly, and no doubt much to the despair of nationalists, Scotland and Wales remained firmly attached to England when I removed the UK ice from the tray.
The tray cleans easily with my usual washing up. There's nothing on the packaging to say if it is dishwasher friendly or not so I would assume it probably isn't.
I've used this several times now and raised a few guffaws with the results and have to say I do quite like having it filled in the freezer because it's actually a pretty effective and sturdy ice cube tray. There have been no signs of any leaks yet despite me pushing and bending the tray to remove cubes.
Paladone do pitch this as a "fun" item but there is a serious message hidden behind it, although perhaps they could have rammed that message home more efficiently by including a cube representing the melting polar ice caps. Instead you are merely reminded to recycle the cardboard packaging and the tray should you ever tire of it.
The Global Warming ice cube tray costs £4.99 on Amazon and I would recommend it if only for use as a party conversation piece. It is expensive for what it is, but it is very well made and very easy to use.
Ice Cube Tray