Ice cream is supposed to be nice – nice cream! – and yet it’s a playground for experimentation for left-field flavour-makers.
You might have heard of mac ’n’ cheese ice cream. You might have even come across pizza flavour ice cream. But honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of the most legitimately weird and why-would-you-even-make-that ice cream flavours currently – or at least recently – available for purchase. Strap in.
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Slightly weird ice cream flavours to tickle your imagination, including garlic and caviar
Some ice creams are designed to taste like things that we typically enjoy in other forms. Others are a little wilder – depending on where you’re from and what you’re used to putting in your mouth.
For example, most of us are familiar with garlic. Many of us eat it every day – we cook with it, pickle it, crush it and blend it. But very few of us make ice cream with it…
And yet it’s a thing. Garlic ice cream. It comes from Gilroy, California, the self-proclaimed “Garlic Capital Of The World”. If you’re interested, and too far away to go to Gilroy’s annual garlic festival, check out how to make it at The Spruce Eats.
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Another example of an ice cream flavour that isn’t inherently weird – just weird that it’s an ice cream flavour – is caviar ice cream.
Upscale French artisan ice cream maker Philippe Faur works “indefatigably”, and one of his more unusual products is actually 60 per cent caviar, from white sturgeon. Pair it with smoked salmon, scallops or a baked potato.
Taking it up a notch with raw horseflesh, pineapple shrimp and Cheetos flavour ice cream
Head to Tokyo’s Sunshine City shopping centre. You’ll find it in the Ikebukuro section of the sprawling metropolis. Once inside, look for Ice Cream City.
Ice Cream City is (in)famous for, among other things, selling raw horseflesh ice cream. The delicacy apparently contains chunks of horseflesh sushi, and goes by basashi vanilla. Other flavours on offer include gyu tan (cow-tongue sorbet) and octopus.
If that doesn’t float your boat, hop across the East China Sea to Taiwan. There, in Keelung’s Bisha port, Liny Hsueh (aka “Dr Ice”) produces a host of wacky ice cream flavours.
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They include, among others, pineapple shrimp, wasabi cuttlefish, strawberry tuna and mango seaweed. The Taipei Times reported in 2005 that the establishment’s seafood ice cream flavours were “an unlikely hit”. So, fingers crossed they’re still available!
Finally – for this section – back to the US, where Big Gay Ice Cream has been “putting a twist on summer soft serves”. How? With their speciality flavour Cheat-Oh’s – in a Cheetos-flavoured cone, rolled in Cheetos dust, and tasting of cheese.
Viagra flavour ice cream
Heladería Coromoto is an ice cream parlour in Merida, Venezuela. It’s famed for its once record-holding 860 unique flavours.
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Among them are gherkin, cream of crab, and avocado flavour ice cream. Ok, so none of them is that weird. They also have flavours with names such as British Airways, Andean Kisses and I’m Sorry, Darling.
And one called pabellon criollo, a traditional Venezuelan meal of beef, rice, plantain, cheese and black beans, which Coromoto replicated in ice cream.
But its oddest offering is probably Viagra Hope, which is bright blue.
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Duck foetus flavour ice cream
And finally, a trip to the Philippines, where balut flavour ice cream is arguably the most divisive ice cream flavour available to the consumer – at least to the American consumer.
In case you’re not familiar with the word, balut – pronounced “BAH-loot” – is a fertilised developing duck egg. Usually it’s incubated for two to three weeks, just so the partially developed embryo bones are soft enough to chew and swallow as a whole.
Yes, that’s duck foetus flavour ice cream.
And, as of 2017 at least, you could get balut flavour ice cream from La Vie Parisienne, a French artisan ice cream maker in Cebu city, Philippines. Or, you know, you could get the vanilla?