Whether you’re a chunky monkey loving mix-in fanatic or a minimalist vanilla girl, we all love ice cream, and most of us have strong feelings about it. It’s one of those nostalgic foods that brings childhood memories flooding back with one cool, sweet spoonful. Just ask Olivia Rodrigo.

Given that ice cream is so closely tied to nostalgic childhood memories, it makes sense that many people feel very passionately about the flavors of their youth. Even if those flavors might sound kind of… *interesting* to those of us who didn’t grow up eating them. Here’s a few of the most unexpected regional ice cream flavors to be found across the U.S. and Canada.

1. New England & Caribbean: Grape Nut

You know Grape Nuts, that strange little cereal that has nothing to do with grapes or nuts? Probably not your first thought as an ice cream mix-in, but Grape Nut ice cream is actually quite popular in New England and across the Caribbean. The idea to put Grape Nuts in ice cream actually originated in Canada, when the Nova Scotian chef Hannah Young substituted the cereal for fresh fruit in her ice cream (as you’ll soon learn, we have Canada to thank for more than a few questionable sounding ice cream flavors). Unfortunately, this unique ice cream is now hard to find in Canada since Grape Nuts were discontinued there several years ago. Luckily, this unique flavor is still popular across New England and in many Caribbean island nations. Grape Nuts are actually the key ingredient in my favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe, so I can see how this sweet and crunchy combo could be really delicious.

2. Maryland: Old Bay

On a recent trip to Maryland, I noticed an interesting ice cream topping on offer: Old Bay. As in, the savory spice blend. Marylanders seem to love putting Old Bay on nearly everything, so I wasn’t exactly surprised. But I have to admit I was skeptical. However, further research revealed that this sweet and savory combo is (apparently) delicious. According to the internet, the spice blend brings a subtle heat to vanilla ice cream which enhances the sweetness, and the savory flavors are “perfectly balanced” by the vanilla. Whatever you say.

3. Canada: Tiger Tail

Tiger tail is a classic Canadian flavor, consisting of orange ice cream with black licorice swirls. It’s orange with black stripes, like a tiger’s tail, but that’s the only thing about this unique flavor that makes sense to most Americans. Licorice? In orange ice cream? In Canada? So many questions. Apparently, the iconic orange-and-licorice combo was a hit at Canadian soda fountains in the 1950s-70s, and remains a Canuck cult-favorite, with a small but dedicated fan base, to this day. It has experienced a nostalgia-induced resurgence in recent years, and is surprisingly popular among children. I really want to try this flavor, because I honestly can’t imagine what it would taste like. But I’ll have to book a trip to Canada, because tiger tail is pretty much impossible to find outside the borders of our neighbor to the north.

4. South: Banana Pudding

I used to think this whole country was blessed with the deliciousness that is banana pudding ice cream, but apparently not. Banana pudding is one of the most iconic southern desserts, so naturally, it’s been made into ice cream. This delectable frozen treat typically consists of a vanilla and/or banana base, bananas, and Nilla wafers. It tastes like a beautiful summer day, and it’s perfect in every single way. Not that I’m biased or anything.

5. Canada: Moon Mist

Moon mist is yet another uniquely Canadian ice cream flavor. The swirl of pale yellow, green, and lavender is quite pretty (some even use it as hair dye inspo!), but this mix of banana, grape, and bubblegum ice cream is somewhat polarizing, tastewise. I have to be honest, it kind of sounds like a five-year-old’s fever dream, but those who’ve tried it claim to love the fun and fruity flavor blend. It’s among the most popular ice cream flavors in Atlantic Canada.

6. Midwest: Blue Moon

This smurf-toned, mystery flavored ice cream is popular across the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Michigan. The flavor is hard to pin down, but many say it tastes like froot loops, with notes of marshmallow, bubblegum, and berry. Or maybe pineapple, or amaretto? Everyone seems to have a different theory. There are multiple origin stories for blue moon ice cream, with more than a few ice cream shops and brands claiming to have created the flavor. Basically, it’s the most mysterious ice cream flavor. And with its devoted fan base of self proclaimed “blue moon freaks,” it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

7. Midwest: Superman

The Midwest strikes again! It is America’s dairyland, after all. Superman ice cream is instantly recognizable for its distinct red, blue, and yellow swirl. It kind of looks like someone went crazy with model magic. The story goes that Superman ice cream was created at Stoh’s brewery in Detroit during prohibition. Today there are many variations, but the sweet treat typically consists of cherry or strawberry, blue moon, and vanilla ice creams, all swirled together in a beautiful neon mess. 

8. New Mexico: Green chile sundae

This New Mexico specialty consists of vanilla ice cream topped with hatch chile sauce. Some variations call for chocolate sauce and whipped cream, others a handful of salty pecans. Regardless, this is a spicy sundae, and not for the faint of heart. I would try a bite, just to say I did, but I’m not sure this one is making it into my ice cream canon.

9. Pennsylvania: Teaberry

This pepto-bismol pink Pennsylvania specialty is described as sweet, tart, and minty. It gets its signature flavor and color from teaberries, a small bright red fruit native to the northeast. Haters will say the flavor is medicinal, but this controversial flavor has a faithful fanbase in the Keystone state. Hershey’s even makes a teaberry flavor, so some people are definitely into it.

10. Vermont: Maple creemee

Maple creemee is a popular roadside delicacy in Vermont. It looks like soft-serve, but Vermonters are adamant: It’s not soft serve. It’s creemee. With a creamier texture than soft-serve but lower butterfat ratio than ice cream, this unique frozen treat (sweetened with the highest quality maple syrup, of course) is typically sold at roadside stands, and it’s a summertime favorite across the state that gave us Ben & Jerry's and Bernie Sanders. Honestly, this doesn’t sound at all questionable, just straight-up delicious.