Whether you like to indulge your sweet tooth on a regular basis or just like to cool off during the summer months, ice cream is a popular go-to treat around the world. While you might find it difficult to go past the creamy goodness of standard vanilla or chocolate scoops, there are a huge number of other, let’s say “interesting”, flavours that you can taste test next time you have an ice cream craving. While gelatarias and ice cream shops across the globe have been serving up many choices for years, these days, it seems to be the norm that they also widen their range to include novelty flavor combinations. From the savory options of fish and chips and beer, to innovative sweet tastes like musk stick or Sambucca (plus a host of even weirder flavors), creative shop owners and foodies are making sure there’s a flavor to suit every taste. Read on for the inside “scoop” on ten out-there ice creams you can try around the world.
10 Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream
While peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a national favorite in the United States, Aussie consumers have been able to get in on the act at Melbourne institution, Jock’s Ice Cream in Albert Park. Jock, the creative ice cream connoisseur, has created one of the most popular sweet treat destinations in the city and is well-known to both locals and tourists. While some of his concoctions include sweet corn and caramel, pineapple lump, gingerbread and lamington ice cream flavours, the peanut butter and jelly combo – nicknamed the “Obama Rama” – has been selling extremely well. Travelers heading to Melbourne at Christmas might also like to pick up one of the store’s ice cream plum puddings, a unique twist on the traditional Christmas-time dessert.
9 Beer Ice Cream
If really good ale is more your thing, then you’ll be pleased to hear about the beer-flavored ice cream created by United States company Frozen Pints. With a tagline that you can “have your beer and eat it too”, Frozen Pints has become a popular U.S. brand and now offers a range of ice creams that utilize fine craft beers and fresh local ingredients. While the beer-flavored treat actually began as an accident when someone spilled some beer near an ice cream maker (and some rather inebriated people decided to try it), the creation has proven to be a long-term winner and can be found around the country.
8 Fish and Chips Ice Cream
Another Aussie outlet showcasing its creative chops is the Kailis Fish Market Cafe in Fremantle, Perth. Taking the popular fish and chip meal to a new height, Kailis has come to attention as the first store in Australia to sell Fish and Chips ice cream. (The innovative sweet and salty combo was inspired by the bacon and egg ice cream created by internationally-renowned British chef Heston Blumenthal). Not content to whip up any old recipe, the business was serious about flavors and consulted with two Italian scientists for over six months to get the taste just right.
7 Musk Stick Ice Cream
If one of your favorite lollies is the musk stick, then you’d better book a ticket to Canberra in Australia, so that you can try out the flavors on offer at Frugii. The popular Canberra brand is found in various locations around the city and each ice cream delight is made using organic extracts, natural flavors and fresh ingredients. Apart from the musk stick option, patrons can also try out interesting flavors as: Sambucca, popcorn, bacon, gin and tonic, and even rosewater gelato with little cubes of Turkish Delight candy in it. Frugii was also the first company in Australia to make commercially-available chocolate gelato straight from the cocoa bean. The business also ensures that products are made without any added flavors or colors and, unlike the majority of ice cream producers, it never uses pastes or bases to create its products.
6 Cheeseburger Ice Cream
Burger lovers should head to Venezuela’s Heladeria Coromoto, the most famous ice cream shop in South America, and the holder of the Guinness Book of Records title for the highest number of ice cream flavors. Although the shop has an unbelievable 900 different choices (around 70 are available to try per week), some of the most unique would have to be the Diet-Coca Cola; tuna; calamari; Mexican sundae or cheeseburger flavors. The creative cheeseburger ice cream is said to be like an interesting combination of a Happy Meal and McFlurry in one, and it blends meat, cheese, french fries and a number of secret ingredients to produce a burger flavor.
5 Vegemite Ice Cream
If you've ever tried strong-tasting Australian condiment Vegemite (it’s massively popular “down under” but an acquired taste for most other cultures), then you’ll probably wonder how well a salty Vegemite ice cream concoction might sell. Believe it or not, the flavor was a notable addition to the menu of Brisbane-based Gelateria Cremona, on Australia Day in 2007. Interestingly though, the resident chef at the Gelateria doesn't like the condiment himself, so he had to try out different versions of the creation on his customers to get it right. The notable shop has also featured other unique flavors over the years including a pear and blue-vein cheese gelato and a Guinness gelato.
4 Smoked Salmon Ice Cream
Located in Flushing, Queens in New York, Max and Mina’s Ice Cream Store is run by two brothers who have been in the business of crafting ice cream since childhood. The brothers, Bruce and Mark Becker, continually encourage clients to suggest new flavors for the shop, and past creations have included corn on the cob, merlot, chocolate-covered potato-chip fudge, and even smoked salmon and cream cheese – inspired by a customer’s suggestion. Celebrity fans of the brand include Rosie O’Donnell, Al Roker and Kevin James.
3 Haggis Ice Cream
Are you a Scottish patriot? If so, perhaps it’s time to try Scotland’s national dish in an ice cream concoction. Morelli’s ice cream parlors (one of the branches is located in Harrod’s food hall in London) serves up this rather interesting dish that sees the normally warm haggis – made from real offal – mixed in with ice cream. The company also serves up other traditional UK meals in ice cream form such as Yorkshire pudding and sausage and mash.
2 Bone Marrow and Red Wine Ice Cream
Minneapolis-based, FrozBroz have a passion for ice cream and an obsession with cooking that has led them to create a boutique business that’s serving up a new flavor of delicacy each week. The craft ice cream company supports local farmers and uses only natural and organic ingredients. Each batch of FrozBroz dessert is hand-crafted and never includes artificial sweeteners or binders. The company’s flavor list is massive and growing, with some of the unique choices including garam masala; charred cauliflower; roasted carrot; salt bagel with cream cheese and honey; and bone marrow and red wine. This latter meaty-sounding creation is made from 100% grass-fed marrow bones and a syrupy red wine blend, mixed into an organic cane sugar ice cream base. According to the FrozBroz website, this ice cream “is rich with a flavor similar to your grandma’s shortbread cookies” and “the brightness of the red wine reduction cuts through the richness of the marrow ice cream and balances out like a perfect wine and cheese pairing”. Perhaps it could be something different to serve up at your next dinner party then?
1 Breast Milk Ice Cream
No doubt one of the strangest ice cream concoctions on the planet (and one that ended up being banned), the breast milk ice cream from London’s The Icecreamists parlor really caused a stir when it was released in 2011. Called “Baby GooGoo”, the ice cream was made from freshly-expressed pure breast milk that was donated from members of the public, and blended with vanilla pods and lemon zest. The Icecreamists shop in Covent Garden was founded by Matt O’Connor who wanted to do for frozen desserts what “the Sex Pistols did for music”. Considering that the first batch of breast milk ice cream sold out within the first few days, it seems his goal was met. Another unique creation from The Icecreamists is The Vice Lolly, an iced sweet made from Holy Water imported from the shrine at Lourdes and blended with 80% Absinthe that offers “spiritual refreshment that is miraculous and medicinal in a single lick”! Those wanting to try out some of the shop’s recipes at home can find them in a 2012 book released by O’Connor.