Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream will probably always rule the roost when it comes to ice cream sales, but sometimes you want some more unconventional flavors in your frozen treats. For instance, curry, tomato and basil, beet, goat cheese and jalapeno peppers are all out there for adventurous ice cream lovers and the following are some of the most unusual (and delicious) flavors available today.
Sweet Action Ice Cream (Denver, CO) Honey Jalapeno Pickle Ice Cream
This surprising and very refreshing ice cream is the result of collaboration between Sweet Action Ice Cream and Denver-area pickle company The Real Dill. Sweet Action adds chopped Real Dill pickles, fresh jalapeno and local honey to high quality Colorado cream for a flavor which is spicy, savory and sweet all at the same time. If you’re looking for something different but this sweet and savory treat doesn’t strike your fancy, Sweet Action also offers flavors including salted butterscotch, olive oil and honey almond orange blossom.
Mashti Malone (Los Angeles, CA) Rosewater Ice Cream
Inspired by the flavors of Iranian cuisine, brothers Mehdi and Mashti Shirvani create ice cream using ingredients including pomegranate, cardamom, saffron, sahlab (the root of an orchid) and of course, rosewater. Mashti Malone’s rosewater icecream is a whirlwind of Persian flavors rosewater, ginger, sour cherry and Turkish coffee. It’s a combination which draws crowds to their Hollywood shop (known as Mugsy Malone before the Shirvani brothers bought the shop in 1980) from all over the greater Los Angeles area.
Black Dog Gelato (Chicago, IL) – Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel Ice Cream
One of the most popular one of a kind flavors created by gelato impresario Jessica Oloroso at her Chicago shop, this tangy, slightly savory confection is reminiscient of a caramel topped cheesecake. It’s just one of Oloroso’s many creations, which include a cucumber and rosewater sorbet and a chocolate, fig and sesame gelatoÂ – she’s known for using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to inspire the offerings at Black Dog Gelato.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (New York, NY) Zen Butter
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory’s owner, Phillip Seid dreamed up this flavor while having a bowl of cold sesame noodles with peanut sauce. Seid’s Manhattan shop has been famous throughout the five boroughs (and beyond) for more than 35 years for his one of a kind Asian-inspired ice cream flavors like black sesame, red bean and the ever-divisive durian (just like the fruit itself, it’s a love it or hate it proposition).
Fornelletto (Atlantic City, NJ) Sweet Corn Gelato
Fornaletto, located in an Atlantic City casino, offers this treat only during the sweet corn season in New Jersey (mid August through mid to late September), but it’s well worth the wait. Blending local sweet corn, sugar, cream, sea salt, caramel corn and mascarpone whipped cream, it’s a unique combination which is the perfect encapsulation of the Jersey shore at the cusp between summer and autumn.
Hotel Saravanaa Bhavan (Chennai and Delhi, India) Jackfruit Ice Cream
In case you’re unfamiliar with jackfruit, it has a taste which combines pineapple and banana (although it’s actually quite savory when it’s still unripe). At Hotel Saravanaa Bhavan, they capture the essence of perfectly ripe jackfruit in their ice cream. Unfortunately, it’s only available at their Delhi and Chennai locations. If you’re at one of the other shops in this Indian ice cream chain, you can console yourself with their watermelon ice cream, which is second to none.
Capogiro Gelato Artisans (Philadelphia, PA) Rosemary Honey Goat’s Milk Gelato
Capogiro owner Stephanie Reitano once found herself staring at many gallons of goat milk, 20 pounds of honey and a pound of rosemary and fortunately for Philadelphia ice cream lovers, she created her now famous rosemary, honey and goat’s milk gelato. It took a few tries to get all of the flavors to come together perfectly, but the combination has been a hit. As Reitano says, “It’s earthy and sweet, but not coy. It is also weird and I likeÂ that.”
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (Columbus, OH)Â – Wildberry Lavender Ice Cream
It’s the unusual bright purple color of this ice cream that tends to first get people’s attention, but it’s the flavor which keeps them coming back for more. With an abundance of deep, juicy berry flavor and floral notes, it’s been a hit for Jeni Bauer’s shop ever since she first introduced it in 2002.
Bi-Rite Creamery (San Francisco, CA) Ricanelas
Â Ricanelas, as some readers may know, are a type of cinnamon flavored cookie popular in Latin America. However, Bi-Rite Creamery owners Anne Walker and Kris Hoogerhyde put their own spin on the beloved treat with their Ricanelas ice cream, using snickerdoodle cookies and plenty of cinnamon. Almost everything at Bi-Rite is made in-house, including the cookies in this flavor and the brittle and toffee in some of their other ice creams. The shop’s brown sugar ginger caramel ice cream is also not to be missed if you happen to be in San Francisco.
George’s Portobello Fish Bar (London, UK) Creamed Cod Ice Cream
As you’ve probably guessed, this is a decidedly unusual flavor, but it fits in well into its surroundings at this renowned London fish and chips shop. The ice cream is served up looking as much as possible like an order of fish and chips the ice cream is fried after a dip in a vanilla and black pepper batter. The “chips” served on the side are actually potato flavored ice cream. It’s definitely not your standard issue vanilla, but it’s quite good and well worth a try.
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