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Unusual or Funky Ice Cream Flavours

Hi again!

I'm looking for interesting, funky, unusual ice cream/sherbet flavours. I read something online describing strawberry-tarragon, cilantro-lime, fig-rhubarb-jasmine flavours but no recipes or descriptions. These sound interesting, esp the jasmine. Has anybody else tried something like these? Or any ideas for other flavour combos to try?

I recently tried kiwi based on a previous post I saw on this site and that was unexpectedly yummy.



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  1. Avodaco is a great flavor for ice cream. The texture of an avodaco is perfect for ice cream. There are lots of recipes if you search it. Many gourmet ice cream places out west serve it too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sgwood415

      never tried Avocado Flavor.. I do live in Asia.. it's considered to be a very rare fruit, here:)

    2. Bobby Flay makes an interesting corn ice cream.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ

        I've made corn ice cream several times - it's in one of our ice cream cookbooks. Pretty good, though the texture can be a bit off-putting. We solved the problem by running it through the food processor and leaving only a few un-pulverized kernels. Much better :D

      2. I made blueberry lavender -- and it was delightful!

        You could try the recipe here from Country Living, or use your favorite ice cream custard recipe and add in the lavender and blueberries. I found the amounts on the CL recipe were perfect.


        3 Replies
        1. re: foxy fairy

          Wow - this sounds great. I frequently make lavender biscuits for strawberry shortcake (from the White Dog Cafe Cookbook - yum!) and the combo is fantastic. So I would recommend substituting the blueberries in the above recipe with strawberries as a possible variation.

          I've also made plain lavender ice cream from an early Rose Levy Beranbaum book - it was incredibly rich, but yummy.

          1. re: foxy fairy

            Thanks foxy fairy!

            This sounds lovely. I love blueberries so much and only eat them plain. I was just thinking today what else I could do with them. I'm looking forward to this.



            1. re: gtrekker2003

              There's a place in columbus, Ohio called Jeni's that makes blueberry-lavender ice cream that is absolutely amazing.

          2. Michoacan is famous for it's different ice cream flavors. At the neveria this week, I saw avocado, etole (corn), jalapeno, mamey (a sweet potato tasting fruit) along with an amazing peach ice. The peach ice was like eating frozen or slushy pureed peaches.
            Oh, I forgot, there was also cacahuate ice cream (peanut)

            1. Look to Jeni's ice cream (best ice cream I've ever had) for inspiration:

              Salty caramel is fantastic.

              5 Replies
              1. re: JGrey

                Another Jeni's fan here...try the Pear and Riesling sorbet sometime. Amazing.

                Jeni's has officially spoiled all other ice cream for me...

                1. re: FlyerFan

                  Seriously. Graeter's, shmaeters.

                  1. re: JGrey

                    Why are all the good ice cream makers in Ohio? Why oh why?

                    1. re: yumyumyogi

                      We have a lot of cows and its so hot for 3 months that you want something cold.

                      Jeni's is good but this is my favorite ice cream place. Its so rich that you don't want more then a single scoop.

                2. re: JGrey

                  +1 just had a corn syrup custard with whiskey and pecans after lunch today. Yummy!

                3. basil...good recipe on epicurious.
                  earl grey tea.
                  look at Il Laboratorio Del Gelato's website and they have all their flavors listed...some of which are very original.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: izzizzi

                    they had cheddar cheese ice cream two weeks ago; ashamed to admit I didn't try it. Their basil was epic, though! And suprisingly green.

                    1. re: Gooseberry

                      I've had the cheddar - it's really, really cheddary. I didn't hate it, but the sample was enough - I wouldn't have wanted a whole scoop!

                  2. I've seen lobster ice cream on the menu at a few places in Maine - couldn't bring myself to try it despite my unnatural love of lobster!

                    Also, black pepper ice cream - good if you don't go too overboard with the pepper.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: heathermb

                      I had oyster ice cream in Paris. It would have made a really fabulous amuse. But it was WAY too odd/intense for an entire first course.

                      1. re: heathermb

                        Oh, I tried the lobster ice cream. To be honest, it just was like chunks of something bland in a sweet ice cream base. Not sure if that's because it was old ice cream?

                      2. pear and blue cheese. i used a pretty decent stilton and a few bosch pears. the ice cream was a great dance of salty/savory and sweet flavor.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: odkaty

                          Wheat and malt are delicious. However, the only place I have ever seen them was at the Coppelia ice cream stand in downtown Havana.

                        2. Rosendale's in Columbus serves Wasabi ice cream. Haven't tried it but it sounds pretty unique.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: HungryLetsEat

                            We just had wasabi ice cream in Japan and it was fantastic! A little hit of heat, mixed with the creaminess of cream. I am going to make this at home. I think wasabi powder added to a basic vanilla base should do it.

                          2. I made avocado ice cream once and it was just divine. Basically take your favorite vanilla recipe and add very ripe avocado and a couple of tablespoons of green chile minced teeny-tiny. Also, look for fresh fruit inspirations at your local farmers market or grocery. Persimmon-banana is yummy. A local favorite here is honeysuckle sorbet-wow-I have a recipe for this.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: sarindra

                              Please post, sounds fascinating.

                              I haven't yet revved up my own ice cream maker, but these recipes are definitely going into the to-make notebook.

                              1. re: sarindra

                                I make persimmon ice cream in the winter. I'll have to add banana to one of the batches later this year. Thanks!

                              2. I had Avocado Ice cream Ice cream once - it had the most amazing mouth feel, just like velvet. However it did not taste very good.
                                Some flavors I have had that were really good: chai; cardomon & peach; chocolate & chili, rosemary & lavender; I really like herbs in ice cream.
                                One of my students came up with the idea of mint, rosemary & garlic - it was disgusting! I love garlic but it does NOT belong in ice cream.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: cheftori

                                  Of course, there has long been good garlic ice cream at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

                                  1. re: cheftori

                                    I tried to make avocado ice cream as someone described above (using a vanilla recipe) and also did not like the taste. Then I threw that away and made up my own as I went along and it was delicious, recipe below. I really think the secret, for my taste at least, was NOT using vanilla extract, despite its inclusion in many online recipes. The vanilla just did not go with it to me. My roommates (all 7 of them) agreed.

                                    Avocado Ice Cream

                                    4 avocados
                                    4 tablespoons lemon juice
                                    2 cups whole milk
                                    1 ½ cups powdered sugar
                                    1 generous cup heavy cream

                                    Blend it, ice cream machine it, put it back into the avocado shells or a carton of your choice and freeze it. Note the lack of cooking and chilling - this is as fast to make as it sounds.

                                    1. re: Adrienne

                                      Adrienne (or others)--what type of avocados did you use?

                                      1. re: Produce Addict

                                        Wow -- woops! Didn't see this. I used regular California (not Hass) avocadoes. Pretty ripe to start.

                                      2. re: Adrienne

                                        i make avocado ice cream with a couple of ripe avocados, a can of cream of coconut, a can of coconut milk, and the juice of one lime. it is impressively good for such a quick dessert.

                                        there's a recipe in epicurious for guiness-milk chocolate ice cream that i've been intending to try lately.

                                    2. Pizzeria Picco [in Larkspur near San Francisco] does an interesting take on vanilla ice cream by topping it with olive oil and sea salt. I've similarly had olive oil ice cream at Oliveto in Berkeley and thoroughly enjoyed both desserts. Just make sure your vanilla is really creamy (Picco uses Straus Dairy, a local purveyor) and that you use quality sea salt and olive oil--you might even want to call Picco and ask what they use.

                                      It's a simple, fresh, and interesting take on ice cream that's easy to whip up for any occasion! I'd be impressed.

                                      1. Cat Cora made a bacon ice cream on ICA...not sure if the recipe is available anywhere, tho.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ricepad

                                          Dave Lebovitz (former pastry chef of Chez Panisse) has a candied bacon ice cream recipe:

                                        2. Although perhaps not practical for your use, the filipino ubi/purple yam ice cream is good as is their corn ice cream. Brazilians have many, many great flavors based on their fruits.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                            My wife came from the Philippines, and one flavour (besides ubi) that I saw there that I have never seen outside Filipino groceries is "Qon Queso", which is essentially cheese ice cream. I am, in my wife's description, "too white" to enjoy these (I prefer chocolate and vanilla.. maybe she's right!). At any rate, if there are Filipino groceries in your town, look for Magnolia brand.

                                            1. re: KevinB

                                              I'd forgotten about keso. If you're too white for ubi, ask your wife if she's too kayumunggi to enjoy vanilla.

                                              1. re: KevinB

                                                If you make it to SF, Mitchell's has ube, along with halo halo, jackfruit, and macapuno.


                                            2. Check out The Ice Cream Project from haverchuk. This blogging ice-cream maker has created flavors like oatmeal raisin, rice, green chili mint, and watermelon sour cream.


                                              Scroll down for the ice cream links (on the right).


                                              1. Best funky flavors I have had:
                                                Cardamom w/ Apple

                                                How bout a Thai Ice Tea Flavor?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: JonasBrand

                                                  Thai iced tea-flavored ice cream has been available at several places in the SF Bay Area for a number of years now, and I have had it from Ronnybrook Farm in New York. It translates well to ice cream.

                                                2. The best homemade ice cream I've ever had was ginger. It was made with raw ginger, not candied ginger.

                                                  Asian ice cream flavours are big in parts of Canada- soursop, black sesame, durian, custard apple, lychee, peanut. Philip's Forbidden Flavours in Calgary does a slew of them.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: John Manzo

                                                    CafeGlace in St. Louis has a Lemon Buttermilk ice cream that is delicious. Just the right amount of lemony butter flavor.

                                                  2. Unusual? Spaghetti Ice Cream. http://www.spaghettiicecream.com/Spag...

                                                    Yogotango in Los Angeles makes a tomato frozen yogurt that pairs sweet and tangy quite well.

                                                    I make a gingerbread ice cream... Vanilla bean base, then I toss in crumbles of Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread (Epicurious), and swirl in a carmelized mixture of molasses, brown sugar, butter, and spices... I add the gingerbread pieces and swirl to the ice cream maker once it has started to firm up a bit.

                                                    Love pear... we used to make ice cream in college, and when I made pear, my best friend would add blue cheese crumbles on top... I did not however, given my antipathy towards blue cheese.

                                                    Butternut squash ice cream is very tasty when done with just the right amount of cinnamon, and possibly some graham cracker crumbs.

                                                    Champagne Ice Cream or Pear Champagne Sorbet

                                                    Brown Bread Ice Cream




                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      Gingerbread ice cream. Mmm... I've only tried a Ciao Bella flavor, with maple. Finished the whole pint in one sitting when I meant to have just a few spoonfuls.

                                                      Guiness ice cream sounds satisfying: http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/ind...

                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                        Emme, that sounds awesome. Can you explain how to do the caramelized mixture?

                                                        1. re: jvanderh

                                                          mix the molasses, sugar in a saucepan til sugar is dissolved. bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes til thickened, then swirl in butter and spices....

                                                      2. We enjoyed fresh fig ice cream last night. Flecks of fig seeds and bits of whole fig folded into a french vanilla base. Spread btwn two pieces of warmed whole wheat waffle--man that's good!

                                                        1. no recipies but if you have a whole foods near you check it out. Ours has a gelati bar with about 24 flavors and they are very creative with the ideas. maybe there website would be helpful?

                                                          1. There's a place near my house called Izzie's that has all kind of interesting flavors. Try to make a Salty Caramel-it's an incredible pairing.

                                                            1. I like to read the daily flavours list at www.capogirogelato.com for inspiration. They do a lot of the herb-and-fruit combos you mention. It's been ages since I was in Philadelphia, but last time I ate there in person, the goatsmilk rosemary & honey gelato was really lovely.

                                                              In 'water for chocolate', Laura Esquivel's classic food fiction read, she gives a recipe for jasmine sorbet that one of the characters made. I made this years ago, from flowers in my mother's garden, and it was vey refreshing. However, I've read since then that some types of jasmine are poisonous, so check you're not using the wrong type!

                                                              More recently, I've been dreaming of a jasmine tea ice cream. Will need to work on that one...

                                                              2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                  reporting back, a couple years late, on the jasmine ice cream. Jasmine Polyanthum is the correct one to use (other types may be poisonous) and you are supposed to remove all the green stem, and use just the flowers/buds. Flavour is best if you infuse the flowers in some of the cream overnight in the fridge, then mix that into your other ingredients rather than infusing on the stove. Lovely, floral flavour, subtle but aromatic. I think it probably is best as a sorbet, given its delicacy, but the ice cream was pretty good too!

                                                                2. Caraway ice cream - oh, sooooo good!
                                                                  And a wonderful halva and poppy seed ice creams. All of them in Poland.
                                                                  What' s interesting, when I was growing up, all they were selling there at the time were-vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Nowadays...it 's anything and everything you can imagine!

                                                                  1. I have a few absolutely stellar paleterias near me. One has 50 flavors on hand at all times. Notables:
                                                                    Jalapeno (I've asked them to do an ancho, and a habanero)
                                                                    creamy coconut (unbelievable!)
                                                                    there are so many more interesting ones, BUT, they also do "Diablo Ices" which are sweet/salty/spacy hot sorbet type things like watermelon, lime, lemon - they are sour, a little sweet, and spicy hot. Many flavors of these also.

                                                                    1. I once had dill pickle ice cream concocted by a small creamery in southwestern Michigan. It was the only ice cream my ice-cream-mad family couldn't stomach.

                                                                      1. The Ore House in Santa Fe serves a pumpkin ice cream with red chile pecan crumbles on top.

                                                                        1. There is an amazing ice cream shop called the Bent Spoon in NJ. IN their 4(5?) years have had over 350 flavors, and some are wild. I don't have any recipes, but the flavors might serve as inspiration: (These are my favorites)
                                                                          Earl Grey Tea
                                                                          Lavander Marscapone
                                                                          Cardamom Ginger
                                                                          Basil Goat Cheese
                                                                          Rosemary (with/without Chocolate)
                                                                          Anise Seed

                                                                          1. Grapefruit and Black Pepper (I got the idea from another thread; it's a good combination.)


                                                                            Grapefruit Ginger


                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                              grapefruit and black pepper...

                                                                              that sounds amazing

                                                                            2. I had truffle ice cream recently. It was awful! Best ever was licorice, which I only had once in my life when I was about 10 years old. I still remember its wonderfulness.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                Yah, Coldstone Creamery does a black licorice ice cream every once in a while that's great.

                                                                                Bon Appetit ran a very nice recipe for buttermilk and honey sorbet topped with fried sage leaves.

                                                                              2. Here are few of my greatest hits from my ice cream maker and me:

                                                                                -Fennel pollen and Honey

                                                                                -Strawberry Port

                                                                                -burnt fig jam and Dulce de leche

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: YAYME

                                                                                  Oooh, can you share how much fennel pollen you put in? I'm guessing this is just before churning? I do honey and rosemary (rosemary infused into the milk) and I'd love to try fennel pollen in the spring!

                                                                                2. my favorite place to find funky ice cream flavors is definitely Jeni's Splendid in Columbus, OH.


                                                                                  i dont get to go there often (dont live in ohio anymore) but when i do i normally walk in and ask "what is the flavor i NEED to try that i wouldnt ever think i need to try?" and it always works out.

                                                                                  last time i walked out with olive oil ice cream with salted pepitas, goat cheese and cognac sauce, and reisling poached pear

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                    Jen's has been shipped to me here in NJ several times and every flavor was a hit! The reisling poached pear is my personal favorite but her combos are just dynamite.

                                                                                  2. The one that fascinates me and makes me laugh every time is Humphrey Slocombe's Secret Breakfast Ice Cream: bourbon and cornflakes. Tasty stuff. I always want to bring a coffee mug instead of getting it on a cone, though; so that nobody knows what it REALLY is. : ) Oh, and once I had a roquefort ice cream conceptualized by a pal as a palate refresher; a between-course thing. It didn't work out so well; tasted okay, but not refreshing by a long shot considering the coating it left on the palate.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      On the topic of breakfasty ice creams, I just last weekend made coffee gelato with bits of donut and bacon and strands of maple syrup running through it -- surprisingly tasty!

                                                                                      1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                        would love to hear more about the "strands of maple syrup!"

                                                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                                                          oh i didn't do anything that fancy -- i guess you could make the maple syrup into something first by letting it partially dry maybe, but i just waited until everything else was fully incorporated in the ice cream machine, and then added the maple syrup and just let it spin once or twice, so that its mixed through but not homogenous, so in some bites you get a bigger maple hit.

                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                        I LOVE cornflakes as an add-in to vanilla ice cream. Bourbon would be great too.

                                                                                      3. My answer to an old post is Durian. I've seen durian ice cream, but too grossed out durian to give it a try. I don't want rotten onion flavored ice cream.

                                                                                        1. Brown bread (popular in the UK) is fun and my absolute favorite is marron glacé as done at Berthillon.

                                                                                          1. Hey I own an ice cream shop in Fredericktown OH and I just made a Bacon/Maple ice cream. Its Maple flavored ice cream with chunks of premium bacon in it. It is to die for. The name of the ice cream? "You're Bacon Me Crazy"

                                                                                            1. Beef and gravy ice cream.

                                                                                              Pork and beans ice cream.

                                                                                              Mustar-ketchup swirl ice cream.

                                                                                              Minestrone ice cream.

                                                                                              Chocolate spaghetti ice cream.


                                                                                                1. re: vangelique

                                                                                                  thanks for the link. I am planning an ice cream party and was going to make lemon and blueberry swirt ice cream with swirls of lemon curd and blueberry jam in the lemon ice cream. I think I will just make the lemon curd ice cream.

                                                                                                2. Very simple. New Orleans Creole Cream Cheese ice cream. Tastes kind of like a creme fraiche ice cream. Gotta go make some immediately. Not fancy but we love it,

                                                                                                  1. an older than bread flavor...
                                                                                                    Cream flavored ice cream (otherwise known as "i forgot the vanilla!"... it's quite good)

                                                                                                    1. Mustard and avocado are two odd flavors for sure

                                                                                                          1. Blue cheese and dark chocolate is a good one. The blue cheese compliments the chocolate well as they both share similar flavour molecules. Go easy on the blue cheese though.