Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? If you’re in the west, you’d probably claim one of the classic flavors as your favorite: rocky road, butter pecan, cookie dough, chocolate chip and so on. But these choices are just a small representation of the weird and wild world of ice cream. If you’re interested in checking out a few less-popular ice cream flavors, give one of these a chance.
You might be familiar with wasabi as the green, spicy, horseradish-like paste that’s served alongside sushi and other Japanese dishes. But did you know that this spicy root can be a great complement to ice cream?
Wasabi ice cream gives tasters the best of both worlds: sweet and creamy top notes followed by a distinct wasabi-like afterburn. It’s an unlikely — yet delicious — combination that fans of spicy foods need to try.
Wasabi is one thing, but Japanese ice cream purveyors took things one step further with a slightly stranger ingredient: raw horse flesh. This delicacy comes to us from a Tokyo-based “food amusement park,” which included an ice cream museum called Ice Cream City. Their mission was to come up with strange, exotic flavors that guests couldn’t help but try — and horse flesh ice cream was one of them.
There don’t seem to be many reports on how this flavor actually tasted. And we may never know. Ice Cream City is now closed, with many of its other memorable flavors being lost to history. Pickle, cow tongue, salad, grilled eggplant, and eel were among the museum's most curious varieties. Not as strange as horse flesh, certainly, but strange enough.
Spaghetti and Cheese
Compared to horse flesh, spaghetti and cheese ice cream might seem kind of tame. Offered by the Heladeria Coromoto ice cream parlor in Venezuela, this flavor of ice cream is purportedly made with real spaghetti and cheese, two ingredients not commonly associated with ice cream. And this monstrous creation is only the beginning. The Venezuelan parlor is renowned for its strange ice cream concoctions that may rival even Tokyo’s Ice Cream City with a lineup of flavors including trout, mushrooms, and hot dogs.
Goat Cheese and Beet
What’s with these folks adding cheese to ice cream? Unlike the spaghetti and cheese concoction, tasters of the goat cheese and beet swirl (available at numerous locations across the U.S.) have nothing but good things to say. Though it sounds strange on paper, ice cream aficionados report that the mixture has a rich, earthy flavor backed by a thick creaminess that only cheese can provide.
Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone
Okay, maybe cheese ice cream is a bit more common than we thought. Enter our next flavor: balsamic-glazed fig swirled with Italian mascarpone cheese. This luxurious flavor is gourmet in every sense of the word, pairing rich, jammy figs against the sweet/sour combination of balsamic glaze and creamy cheese. Best of all, this isn’t some delicacy you’ll need to travel to find. This flavor is available through plenty of national ice cream vendors, and you might be able to find a pint at your nearest grocer.
Hot Sauce and Scorpion
When we started writing this article, we didn’t realize how deep the “strange ice cream” rabbit hole goes … and we may have gotten more than we bargained for. However, we must press on and report our next flavor: hot sauce + scorpion. Real scorpion.
Dubbed “The Scorpion Sting,” this flavor is the brainchild of the Delaware-based Ice Cream Store. It combines African vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce in a creamy swirl — garnished with a dried and specially-prepared scorpion right on top, all ready for consumption.
The scorpion is a startling addition, but tasters report that the flavor is actually pretty good. Since its inception, the Scorpion Sting has undergone a few adjustments, including the removal of the hot sauce and adding in some more fruity flavors. Today, it’s known in the Ice Cream Store as “Catching Fire.” But don’t worry — the scorpion hasn’t gone anywhere.
The Weirdest Ice Cream Out There
We hope you learned something from this — because we surely did. Don’t underestimate how far some companies are willing to go to come up with the weirdest and tastiest ice cream flavors in the world. Many of them are meant to be one-time novelties, but if there’s one area where novelty should be encouraged, it’s ice cream.