Ice cream is arguably the ultimate comfort food. We look for it after a bad day, after a crappy break-up, while watching sad movies, after a spat with our boss, while cramming that paper we were supposed to write two weeks ago; we look for it when we’re out having fun with our friends; even during short fifteen minute office breaks, we run down to the nearest convenience store to have our fill of this all time favorite.
It’s no wonder ice cream flavors have really boomed in the last couple of years – now we have our pick of the classics, different styles and brands, and an addition of novelty ice cream flavors. There’s so much to choose from so we’ve compiled some of our favorite from the most unusual flavors to hit the market.
Did you know that the Sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines, actually tastes great when eaten? Don’t go around trying to stuff these babies into your mouth, what I mean to say is that it’s great as ice cream. The flower, known to the locals as the tiny white buds sold by vendors near churches and on the street, has been transformed into a unique, albeit unusual, ice cream flavor by a restaurant in Intramuros, Manila. It smells like the real thing but with a twinge of vanilla. (For those of you in Manila, you can drop by Illustrado to try some for yourself!)
England: Mushy Peas and Fish
Dessert for dinner, yes please! In England, you can have your serving of mushy peas and fish in ice cream form – and it’s all thanks to Woods Luxury Ice Cream Parlour. The ice cream is made up of a scoop of minty peas flavored ice cream, and a scoop of fish-flavored ice cream, topped with battered cod and finally, a (yes, just one) French fry. Talk about a full meal!
United Kingdom: Jellyfish
Jellyfish ice cream seems to be making a storm these days with the Japanese turning into one of their novelty ice cream flavors, but Charlie Francis, the founder of Lick Me, I’m Delicious ice cream company took the ice cream craving a whole notch higher when he invented jellyfish ice cream that glows when you lick it. Unfortunately, this crazy treat doesn’t come cheap and a single scoop sells for some $200 — a steep price to be able to eat ice cream in the dark, if you ask me.
France: Foie gras
How long does it take to turn duck liver into ice cream? Four months apparently. That’s how long it took French ice cream company Philippe Faur to create their Foie gras recipe. The recipe combines all the fatty duck liver with the goodness of ice cream and voila, another unusual ice cream flavor is born.
If you’ve ever thought of eating a sheep’s innards for dessert, then this one’s for you. The Scottish dish, called Haggis – made up of, you guessed it, sheep innards – is traditionally served as a sausage but the dish is available in ice cream form at some department stores in Europe.
Here’s a personal favorite: in 2011, Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, Missouri, produced dessert made with actual insects. It must’ve tasted great because they sold out (:O) within hours of its debut, but was unfortunately never produced again. To create the ice cream, the employees collected the bugs, removed their wings, and boiled and covered them in brown sugar and milk chocolate, later mixing it with the base butter-flavored ice cream.
London: Breast Milk
If fresh milk can be turned into ice cream, why can’t breast milk? An ice cream shop in London must’ve thought the exact same things when they produced breast milk ice cream and called it Baby Gaga. They used freshly produced (what an odd thing to say) breast milk from public donations and mixed it with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest for the final touch. Got Milk, anyone?
Forget the little blue pill, in Venezuela, the famed Heladería Coromoto ice cream shop produced Viagra ice cream. The ice cream, named Viagra hope, is made with secret ingredients rumored to be natural plant aphrodisiacs. Funny enough, that’s not what the ice cream shop is famous for, instead it is popular for landing the Guinness World Record for creating the most number of ice cream flavors (almost 900).
Finally, the land of the quirkiest ice cream flavors also lands a spot in our list with their python-flavored ice cream. Not much is said about how the Japanese produce their novelty ice cream flavors, but that doesn’t keep people from buying them. In fact, these novelty ice cream flavors — from eel, to tempura, sushi, and octopus — are so popular in the region that in an Ice Cream City was built in Namja Town (a food amusement park), Tokyo just to commemorate them.
What’s the craziest ice cream flavor you’ve tried? Let us know!
Illustrations by: Janine Avenido