Four score and seven years ago (or something like that), the craziest ice cream flavor in existence was Neapolitan: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Well, things aren’t—literally—so vanilla anymore. From its humble origins, ice cream has exploded gastronomically, allowing us to taste some pretty bizarre, pretty weird, pretty awesome variations.
1. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce isn’t just for sushi anymore. The ever-creative folks at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in New York City have incorporated it into their summer ice cream lineup. You can even get a wasabi and sesame seed topping.
“It tastes like peanut butter and caramel,” one adventurous Yelp reviewer said.
(If you’re a thousand miles away from New York City, check out this article for home-made savory ice cream recipes.)
2. Fried Chicken and Waffles
Of course an eatery that originated from L.A. would transform this California staple into a frozen treat. Coolhaus, which produces “architecturally-inspired gourmet ice cream,” will soon sell brown butter maple ice cream with maple candied chicken skins and caramelized waffles. Fried chicken and waffles was already an unexpected combo; this takes things to the next level.
3. Sesame Fig Chocolate Chip
Even in the dead of winter, Chicagoans and tourists brave the cold and the winds to get this gelato from Black Dog.
“It’s like heaven,” gushes a Hogsalt reviewer. “Creamy texture with the unexpected kick of sesame followed by the sweetness of fig and comforting familiarity of chocolate.”
4. Winter Cookie Land
It might seem a little odd that such an amazing flavor would originate from an ice cream shop in such a tropical locale as Hanapepe, Kauai, but we’re not complaining. The Winter Cookie Land, from Lappert’s, is composed of peppermint ice cream, Oreo cookies and crushed candy canes.
Does it get any yummier? No, no it does not.
This may be one of the few times we’re not super pumped about eating ice cream. The Stinking Rose, a garlic-themed restaurant with locations in San Francisco and Beverly Hills, offers a not-so-enticing bowl of garlic ice cream topped with caramel mole sauce.
However, it did get some positive reviews on Yelp.
“The ice cream tastes more like vanilla when you first eat it, but after a few seconds you get a strong garlic flavor in your mouth,” said Tiffany T. “It was surprisingly really good!”
So maybe we spoke too soon.
(For the adventurous folk, we have five more insanely weird treats every foodie needs to try at some point.)
6. The Munchies
You definitely don’t have to be, uh, under the influence to appreciate this concoction from Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, New York. First, ice cream is infused with pretzels. Then, gobs of potato chips, Ritz crackers and M&Ms are thrown into the mix… with more pretzels, of course.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention their “Breakfast Trash” flavor, which is made with Cap’n Crunch, Sugar Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes.
7. Sweet Corn with Cracked Pepper and Raspberry Coulis
The Creole Creamery in New Orleans specializes in unique flavors, but we think this one takes the (ice cream) cake. It’s like a barbeque and a tea party got together and had a dairy baby.
8. Red Hot Banana
Those are three words we never imagined would be strung together, but at Humphrys, in San Francisco, you can order a scoop of banana-flavored ice cream blended with cinnamon Red Hots.
In a weird way, it makes total sense: bananas are sweet but relatively mild, while Red Hots are bold and spicy.
9. PB&J Sandwich
Last, but certainly not least. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ice cream were both childhood staples, so we can’t imagine any ice cream flavor more nostalgia-inducing than this one. Morellis describes it as “sweet and savory peanut butter ice cream is swirled with homemade strawberry sauce (jelly) and vanilla wafer pieces (sandwich).” Points for creativity… and deliciousness.
(If you’re a PB&J fanatic–who isn’t–you must read this article on the art of PB&Js.)
There you have it, Spoonies, the nine craziest flavors we could dig up (literally…) Neapolitan, schmeapolitan. We’ve definitely moved on to bigger and better things.