Would You Try the Craziest Ice Cream Flavors in the Country?
We scoured the United States for these wild and wonderful ice cream flavors. Which would you try?
Some folks like to get a little adventurous at the ice cream parlor, choosing coffee, pistachio or even bubble gum, but when it comes to this classic frozen treat, most don’t stray too far beyond vanilla and chocolate. According to The Food Channel, 29 percent of all ice cream consumption is just plain ol’ vanilla (here’s our Test Kitchen’s favorite brand). In other words, about a third of us steer clear of the delightful world of weird ice creams. With so many strange scoops—like lobster or sriracha—up for grabs, we decided to compile a list of the most bizarre ice cream flavors in the United States. Which of these creative concoctions would you dare to try?
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Ice Cream from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Brooklyn, New York & Nationwide
Mac and cheese is definitely our favorite comfort food—we love it so much, we went all out to find the best mac and cheese. We love to follow it up with a bowl of ice cream, but we’ve got to be honest—we never saw the two coming together! Ice cream company Van Leeuwen created this unusual flavor for a limited edition release, with cream, milk, cane sugar, egg yolks and of course, tons of Kraft cheese powder. You can grab a pint at their branches—along with a pint of their onion ice cream—in NYC, LA and Houston, or on their website for $12 while supplies last.
Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Ice Cream
Texas and Southeast States
Sure, we love cheese puffs, and we definitely love Cheetos, but in ice cream? Well, it seems like everyone’s trying to turn their favorite cheesy snack into a cold, creamy treat, and Marble Slab Creamery is no different. This ice cream features a sweet cream base with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crushed and distributed throughout, and you can get it in milkshake form. If you live anywhere near one of Marble Slab’s 250 locations, the ice cream starts at $5.99, and the shake starts at $6.99.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil from OddFellows Ice Cream
Brooklyn, New York
OddFellows Ice Cream has an impressive array of flavors on its ever-changing menu. Adventurous eaters might want to try Absinthe Chocolate Chip…and how does Foie Gras sound? One especially popular variety is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The flavor is nothing like the stuff you saute veggies in, and the texture is just about as smooth and creamy as it gets.
Sweet Avocado Cayenne from Rococo Creamery
Two locations in Maine
Look no further than Rococo Creamery for this mega tasty, mean green flavor. It features creamy avocado and crackling cayenne, and even better than the surprisingly satisfying taste is the color—neon green. (Are you doing this to your avocados? Well, stop, says chef Aarón Sánchez.)
Pink Lemonade Pop Rocks from Max & Mina’s Ice Cream
Queens, New York
For a mix of fresh-squeezed lemonade and firework-branded tingling flavor, Max & Mina’s Ice Cream has the perfect scoop. Light pink-lemonade flavor gets a jolt of fun with fizzy popping candies peppered throughout. The New York-based parlor’s crazy flavors have been featured on the Food Network’s Outrageous Foods, as well as in the New York Times, People magazine, USA Today and many other news outlets you know. If all those trusted taste buds can’t persuade you, Max & Mina’s extensive menu, with crazy flavors like Strawberry Horseradish and Lox, will.
Thanksgiving Dinner from The Ice Cream Store
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
With its impressive flavor list, the Ice Cream Store has become an obsession both in and out of its home state. Of all the odd options they offer, Thanksgiving Dinner might be the weirdest: Composed of egg-yolk vanilla ice cream studded with tomatoes, potatoes and green beans, this seasonal specialty is topped off with hot sauce and granulated sugar. The shop is also known for pun-derful flavors such as The Swirl with the Dragon Cashews and MintNight in Paris. And if, like us, you’re craving Thanksgiving dinner right now, you’ve gotta try these recipes.
Goat Cheese with Red Cherries from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
For those craving a frozen treat that tastes exactly like cherry cheesecake, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams makes a flavor that sounds strange but tastes amazing. The delicate combination of tart roasted cherries and creamy goat cheese has helped build Jeni’s into a nationwide brand (and onto our list of best ice cream brands). With locations across the U.S., a specialty supermarket line and three cookbooks in print, you can get a fix of this unique flavor no matter where you are. (If you’re still looking for that bite of cherry cheesecake, we have another suggestion.)
Vanilla with Sweet Sriracha Sauce from Mason’s Creamery
This (vegan!) ice cream is hot, hot, hot! Mason’s Creamery offers many seasonal surprises on its rotating menu, but this spicy sriracha-flavored scoop is so popular that it’s available year-round. With its creamy heat and a drizzle of the sauce itself on top, you’re unlikely to find another scoop like it—well, maybe our favorite homemade vegan ice cream.
Gold Nugget from Coppa
Coppa is known for much more than ice cream, but their never-dull Flavor of the Day list includes some truly crazy flavors on occasion. At the top of the podium is Gold Nugget, a vanilla-based custard swirled with dark chocolate chunks and 24k gold flake—proving you don’t need a drill to hit gold…but you may need to travel to Alaska. New to frozen custard? Let us fill you in.
Strawberry Balsamic from Sweet Action Ice Cream
Balsamic vinegar is most often used as a salad dressing component or a sauce add-in, but Sweet Action Ice Cream twisted its tart flavor into a top-selling strawberry ice cream. Next time you’re in Denver, pick up a scoop or two, and get a glimpse at other fun flavors such as Blackberry Lavender and Whiskey Brickle. Don’t have a Colorado road trip planned anytime soon? Sweet Action ships nationwide, so fans can order a taste from any place, at any time.
Granny’s Sweet Potato Casserole from The Comfy Cow
How about ice cream for Thanksgiving dessert? In honor of the holiday, the Comfy Cow creamery expands its candy-coated menu in the fall to include this confection. Made with brown sugar pecan brittle, scratch-made marshmallow fluff and roasted sweet potatoes, it’s sweet nostalgia by the scoop. If you’re looking to duplicate the taste in your own home, try our recipe for sweet potato casserole. We recommend serving it with—you guessed it!—a dollop of ice cream.
Ghost Pepper Peppermint from Mallard Ice Cream
To achieve this truly strange and daring combination, the innovators at Mallard Ice Cream blended the intense kick of the world’s hottest chili pepper with the sweet, classic cool of homemade peppermint ice cream. This one is for spice lovers only! (So are these recipes.) Indulge at your own risk.
Dill Pickle from Dakota Drug Co.
Stanley, North Dakota
With a soft chestnut color that looks like caramel or peanut butter, this brine-spiked scoop is sure to surprise. The Dakota Drug Co. soda fountain prides itself on being able to mix almost any flavor with its Whirl-a-Whip, a rare classic that blends basic ice cream with just about any add-in to create a unique treat every time. If you like ice cream that bites back, you’ll appreciate this salty sweet. Want to try making your own pickle ice cream? Here’s the scoop.
Idaho Potato from Westside Drive In
Ice cream doesn’t get much more Idahoan than this potato-shaped ice cream base topped with “sour cream” (vanilla ice cream). A wildly popular dish at the Westside Drive In, the restaurant now sells the novelty off-site from their traveling Idaho Ice Cream Potato Trailer.
Lobster from Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium
Massachusetts and Maine
With its vanilla bean and butter base and lobster pulled fresh from the Atlantic (then cooked and chopped!), this ice cream steals the show at the Chocolate Emporium…despite the fact that it doesn’t contain any chocolate at all. Also cool: The candy-red flecks of lobster make for a gorgeous treat that’ll make Instagram followers freak! (Psst: Here’s the best ice cream shop in every state.)
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