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Unusual..but delicious...ice cream flavors

I recently visited some friends in Chester County, PA and they took me to a great little Mexican-American ice cream shop in Kennett Square that served several unusual ice cream flavors. I tried the sweet corn ice cream, which was fantastic. The guy behind the counter recommended a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, which was spot on. I'm interested to hear about other interesting ice cream flavors Chowhounds have tried.

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  1. My all-time favorite was something called Lotus Cream, served by Gaylord's of Palo Alto (now defunct). It was just lemon and almond (probably toasted almond, but no almonds actually in the ice cream, just the flavor). It was sublime, as the name implies, and quite unplaceable unless explained.

    Also, there is a place in Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C., called Locopops that makes Mexican-style fresh-fruit (and other flavors) popsicles using ingredients from all over the world. The flavors change weekly. So far my favorites are chocolate with rosemary and pineapple basil. The ingredients are top-notch. I love it.

    They are thinking of expanding or wholesaling; I pray they will somehow get to New York City soon, because I think about them constantly.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KateC.

      I'm happy to see that someone has remembered old uncle gaylords in s.f. I have the book with recipes if anyone's interested

      1. re: KateC.

        I loved Locopops blueberry thyme pops and also mexican chocolate w/ cinnamon and also mojito. Ooh, and spicy mango too!

      2. My favorite ice cream (this week!) is from Kensington Market Organic Ice Cream here in Toronto. It's strawberry with Anise and Black pepper - it's heavenly. They also have really fantastic ice cream call Emotional Rescue with Cardamom and other spices. YUM :-D

        1. There is a place in Los Angeles called Scoops that offers the most amazing flavors (I've personally tried dill / cheesecake, olive oil / sea salt, chocolate / wasabi, coffee / guiness and many, many fruit combinations. Instead of my going into too much detail, I suggest you search the L.A. board for "Scoops" to get an idea of what they (well, "he", since it's really just one guy) do. It's a serious board favorite.

          1. Bent Spoon Ice Cream, made in Princeton NJ I think, makes avocado ice cream, which I've had a couple of times with savory items and I'm pleased to say, it's both unusual and delicious.
            Bent Spoon also makes earl grey ice cream, which I had with a dessert. yum

            I like ginger ice cream, usually offered in sushi places.

            3 Replies
            1. re: pfarrell

              There used to be a tea shop on Van Ness in San Francisco that had, not only tea to drink, but also about four or five tea ice creams. Earl Grey was one of their staples and one of my favorites. The place has been closed for a number of years now, but I'm always on the lookout for another tea place that serves tea ice creams.

              1. re: alanstotle

                Pure T -- I still mourn that place.

                1. re: alanstotle

                  I've made Earl Grey at hoem and it was interesting. The texture was perfect, but I'm not sure if I personally loved the flavor. I may need to gove it a second look. I had the same feeling about my fig ice cream.

              2. Megu in NYC had this amazing vanilla sea salt ice cream. I just wish I didn't have to share with 2 other people.

                1. I really like simple Persian ice creams. Rose Water (with pistachios mixed in) is very good, creamy and sweet. Recently, on a trip to Mashti Malone's in Hollywood, I tried the Lavendar, which tasted too much like soap. I really enjoyed the Orange Blossom. It was floral, like Rose Water, but with the citrus mixed in. None of these are too crazy, but can't be found in normal ice cream places.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

                    Yes, I love Rose Water, or rose water, saffron and pistachio - yum. Also the rose water sorbet with noodles frozen in it called faloodeh.

                    Some Mexican paletas places offer cucumber-chile flavors. I also like rompope, which is made with an eggnog-flavored liqueur.

                    I have made my own rose sorbet - lovely - and a violet sorbet, which was a little perfumey for my taste. My favorite flavor I have made is lime mint with coconut milk.

                  2. I made a great sweet potato crumble ice cream last weekend; so unique and yet such a familiar comfort food flavor... Next week I may try a butternut squash w/ sage, but need to work out the proportions first.

                    There's a place in Los Angeles called Yogotango that makes a tomato soft serve which is really good

                    Key lime white chocolate graham cracker chip

                    Grape is another rare flavor I love.

                    1. not really unusual, but I've never seen it anywhere else.......

                      There is this restaurant here in Boston that sells fantastic pizza and homemade icecreams. A few summers ago, they had homemade prune icecream and my god it was the best thing I ever ate. I love prunes (and yes prune juice), but it didn't really taste like those dried ones that I was used to eating.

                      I had to make sure I was close to home after eating that prune ice cream, cause boy it went through me like.........you know the rest

                      1. My personal favorite is a combination cup of avocado and purple yams. I could seriously eat a pint of that with no problem. I've also seen "queso" (flavored with Edam, I believe) which was interesting. The ice cream parlor I go to in New York makes a delicious black sesame ice cream that I like to combine with a scoop of taro.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          A place in Providence called Big Alice used to have an ice cream with some heat -- a little cayenne or something. I loved the way the sweetness and the heat worked together.

                          1. re: ccferg

                            Try chocolate w/ ancho chile powder ice cream topped with crumbled tortilla chips for a salty sweet contrast...

                            1. re: Emme

                              Oh, yeah, I'd love the salt with that.

                            2. re: ccferg

                              Jeni's in Columbus Ohio makes something similar to this. chocolate cayene. All of their flavors are a little unique like this. They are pretty famous in this area.

                          2. There is a brand of ice cream (I think its Filipino) called Magnolia and they have Corn & Cheese flavor. Its not bad. They also have avocado flavor. They sell Magnolia ice cream in the frozen section of my local Chinese supermarket. When I went on a Carnival cruise, they offered basil ice cream. I absolutely looooooovvved it. It was so delicate and aromatic. I tried replicating it at home, but it wasn't as good as the version I got on the boat. Basil Ice Cream is the BEST!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: avena

                              call carnival; they'll likely give you the recipe!

                              1. re: avena

                                My daughter makes Strawberry Basil ice cream. I love it, and I'm not a big ice cream eater.

                              2. A local restaurant recently had a snicker doodle/apple ice cream sandwich on the menu. Had never encountered apple ice cream before. It was delicious.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  ah that reminds me of the departed ben and jerry's american pie and apple crumble flavors... :'-(

                                2. Oh my, some of the flavors mentioned thus far sound so good. I would love to try earl grey ice cream!

                                  One of my favorite, slightly unusual ice cream flavors is halva, made by a guy in D.C. with a shop in Dupont Circle area, Larry's. The halva ice cream doesn't actually contain halve rather it is made with tahini and honey and has slivered almonds in it for texture. Oh, my is it wonderful.

                                  There is a gelato place from the Philadelphia area that makes a fig, mascarpone gelato. Ohhhhhhhh, I would like to try that.

                                  1. Last summer, whilst in Cape Cod, I tried cake batter ice cream. YUM!!!!! Couldn't find it again this year.... Booooo

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: maisonbistro

                                      Have you been to Coldstones? It might not be as good as the place you tried it on Cape Cod, but it does taste a lot like cake batter. Try the "birthday cake remix." =)

                                      1. re: avena

                                        :( I live in Montreal, Canada.

                                      2. re: maisonbistro

                                        Dreyer's made a Take the Cake ice cream too...

                                        http://dreyers.slowchurned.com/taketh...

                                        1. re: Emme

                                          DO NOT EAT THAT STUFF!!!! I love cake batter ice cream and this is the only ice cream that I remember in my entire life that I could NOT finish. Gross.

                                          Cold Stone Creamery has cake batter ice cream, it's good with graham cracker crust mixed in. I hear from friend who worked there that they dump cake batter powder right in.

                                        2. re: maisonbistro

                                          Turkey Hill Party Cake....vanilla with buttercream frosting and cake chunks mixed in. I <3 Turkey Hill!

                                        3. My Uncle (a cordon bleu chef) makes a rosemary ice cream that is divine, and I'm not a big rosemary fan.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: cheesemonger

                                            Do you have the recipe?

                                            1. re: dinner belle

                                              Sorry, db, he's a complete pain. I even sent a request for the recipe through Bon Appetit, thinking he'd cave to the free advertising for his (now defunct) restaurant, but he wouldn't do it. Drives me batty.

                                            2. re: cheesemonger

                                              There's a restaurant in Cambridge that did (or does) a rosemary ice cream, they serve it with a little lemon cake thing.

                                              http://www.rialto-restaurant.com/home/

                                            3. It's not unusual, but it's certainly been my favorite for a while..
                                              Haagen Dazs Mayan Chocolate. Chocolate, fudge & cinnamon. It's wonderful.
                                              I am also a fan of smashing Lorna Doone cookies in it. mmmmm

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: louweezy

                                                I recall both wheat and malt flavours at the Coppelia ice cream stand in Havana. Delicious - it pays to have a Canadian passport.

                                              2. Ben & Bill's in Bar Harbor, Maine had the most unusual flavor for ice cream - lobster. I'm kicking myself for not trying (they had too many interesting homemade flavors that I wanted to try), but another customer tried while I was there and didn't gag...

                                                1. At Laboratorio del Gelato NYC I recently had pink peppercorn & tarragon gelato that was so so delicious, aromatic with a mysterious anisey note. I wish they would make it more often. They have lots of unusual flavors, another favorite is licorice.
                                                  Also the jalapeño icecream at the Tabasco factory on Avery Island, Louisiana.

                                                  1. Fosselmann's in Alhambra (Los Angeles county) sells Taro Root, Green Tea, and Lychee ice cream flavors.

                                                    1. Bent Spoon in Princeton has a fantastic chocolate habanero gelato. It is a deep dark chololate that has a heat to it. The heat sneaks up on you and you notice it more and more as you eat it. It is wonderful.
                                                      One of my old favorites was from Baskin Robbins, years ago they had a lemon cream ice cream flavor that was one of my favorites.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: KathyH

                                                        Campari grapefruit. Technically it was sorbet, but it was nice. =) We also had a local cucumber mint ice cream that was good on a HOT day.

                                                        1. re: KathyH

                                                          Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake (Los Angeles) has a mango cayanne pepper flavor that is refreshing then hits you with the warmth of the spice.

                                                        2. I think this is almost too par for the course in New England to fit in the . . . unusual. . . category but one of my all time favorites is grape nut ice cream.

                                                          I'm still searching for a claret ice cream, maybe I'll try to figure out how to make it myself.

                                                          1. Caramel guacamole.

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              Seriously? Where did you have that? Oh, I forgot, also had grapefruit ice cream (not sorbet) at Bertillon in Paris. Delicious.

                                                              1. re: KateC.

                                                                KateC. and tatamagouche,

                                                                I had caramel gaucamole at a place called Scoops in Los Angeles.

                                                                The ice cream maker there makes all sorts of fantastic combos ... some work, some don't. Caramel gaucamole worked. Foie gras, not so much.

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  I tried Scoops last night for the first time! The Strawberry Lavender and the Oreo Maple were great!

                                                                  1. re: avena

                                                                    Great little shop.

                                                                    I sometimes wonder about the suggestions that people scribble on the blackboard. Red wine and vinegar?? [rolls eyes]

                                                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    Wow, sounds like an amazing place.

                                                                  3. re: KateC.

                                                                    I visited Berthillon in Paris last summer and put together 2 flavors. 1 scoop of dark chocolate ice cream and a scoop of blood orange ice cream on top. (Cone, of course) Fanfrickingtastic!

                                                                    1. re: greenpapaya

                                                                      Do try Damman's, imho it's better.

                                                                      1. re: limster

                                                                        I wanted to try it. Stood in a long line at the end of the day, but they roped off the line RIGHT in front of me.

                                                                  4. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    No way. Really?

                                                                    I've written before about the black truffle ice cream served with butterscotch fondant at Cambridge MA's Gargoyles on the Square. Last week I had WONDERFUL gorgonzola dolce ice cream at Denver's Black Pearl.

                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                      Wow. Wow. Wow. The truffle butterscotch really sounds like it would work (and I'm not usually a fan of the oil version of truffle). Also the gorgonzola -- makes me think of the blue cheese malted shake at Shopsin's -- the idea of it. I have yet to get there ever. Maybe this weekend.

                                                                  5. In Lenox, Mass, SoCo icecream has two great flavors. The first is Mexicali Chocolate -- chocolate ice cream with cayenne pepper -- great combo!! The second is ice cream made from chocolate milk a very diferent chocolate ice cream.

                                                                    1. Corn flavor ice cream is a recent discovery for me, available at a local Argentinean gelato shop. A good friend of mine often laments her inability to find her favorite flavor- orange pineapple. Can anyone recommend where to look for it? I'd love to surprise her with some.

                                                                      1. For me, it's all about the wasabi ice cream. A local home-style Japanese place serves it here, and it's superb. I'll never go back to green tea again.

                                                                        In Grand Case in St. Martin, I also had cinnamon ice cream, which was simple but delicious. I'm surprised that this flavour isn't more common.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: vorpal

                                                                          I was finishing my lunch at a Japanese restaurant with a bowl of green tea ice cream one afternoon, somewhat before some of the other guests at our table had finished their sushi. Unbeknownst to me, my spoon had wasabi on it, so once I dug in, I was shocked with a very pungent hit followed by the coolness of the ice cream. The flavor combination was addictive and I still ask for a bit of wasabi on the side of my ice cream to mix together.

                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                            I actually didn't know I was eating wasabi ice cream the first time I tried it! My partner brought home takeout, and after we'd eaten dinner, we moved onto dessert. I grabbed my ice cream, saw the colour (which was a bit more bright green than usual), and assumed it was green tea. A few nibbles in, my tongue was pleasantly warm, contrasting the coolness of the ice cream. My partner fessed up, thinking my reaction would be unpleasant, and I've been in love ever since.

                                                                        2. Black Mocha Stout from Ultimate Ice Cream in Asheville. They use Highland Brewing Company's beer - wow!

                                                                          1. Antietam Dairy in Waynesboro, PA (about a hour and half north of DC) has phenomenal classic American ice cream, with a plethora of flavors. Two of the more interesting ones are butter brickle (quasi-caramel with a strong butter flavor), and peppermint. They also make a first rate bittersweet chocolate chip ice cream.

                                                                            1. I don't think it's super-unusual, but I've had pumpkin ice cream that was pretty great.

                                                                              1. My new favorite is Pernod Ice Cream. I make it. It's just faintly licorice-y, and goes very well with summer flavors of tarts and pies.

                                                                                1. I have tried a few very unusual ice-cream / gelato / sorbet in Asia:

                                                                                  Porcini Gelato
                                                                                  Gazpacho Sorbet
                                                                                  Dragon fruit sorbet
                                                                                  Okinawan Sea Salt ice cream
                                                                                  Curry Rice Ice Cream
                                                                                  Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Ice Cream
                                                                                  Yuzu Ice Cream
                                                                                  Kumquat Ice Cream
                                                                                  Pandan Leaf Ice Cream
                                                                                  Seaweed Ice Cream
                                                                                  Sake Ice Cream
                                                                                  Kimchee Ice Cream

                                                                                  oh almost forgot:
                                                                                  Mango Sticky Rice Ice Cream
                                                                                  Taro and Forbidden Rice Tapioca Ice Cream

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                    How was kimchee ice cream?

                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                      It was actually quite good! It really tasted like kimchee, but the cream / milk in the ice-cream reduced the heat a bit. There was definitely a "kick" at the back of the throat after you swallowed the ice cream.

                                                                                      1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                        Were they sweet or savory ice creams?

                                                                                  2. Shiru bay in Vancouver has Natto Ice Cream as a dessert item. It's prepared tableside by your server. Vanilla ice cream, natto, some corn flakes and some molasses. The server basicially whips the concoction up and presents it to you. Fantastic. The restaurant is worth a visit as well.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Shiru-Bay
                                                                                    1193 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B5P6, CA

                                                                                    1. Reed's Green Tea Ginger ice cream is delish.

                                                                                      1. I must say that when I once tried avocado gelato I really dug it. I know that technically it's different than ice cream, but I figured it was close enough.
                                                                                        I got it at this local resteraunt called guissepies, and now that I think about they once had a tarragon gelato which I absolutly ADORED. It was like swwet licorice/anise flavour, really creamy and nice, it would go good with strawberry sorbetto.
                                                                                        Today I actually had some pumpkin spice LaLoo's goat milk ice cream with a bit of curry sauce on it (!) It was surprisingly good, I think I used bassicly yogurt, curry powder, garlic, onions, ginger, maybe tumeric and some other things in the curry.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Chef Casper

                                                                                          Yes, gelato in Italy is a whole other subject--yogurt, fiordilatte, cassata, cinnamon-plum, licorice, etc. etc...

                                                                                        2. Not that unusual but Ube (Purple yam) and Queso (cheese) ice cream and avocado ice cream i tried in the Philippines was great. Other flavors they had were black sesame, Caramelo con Pastillas and Melon, among others but i wasn't able to try them but wish i did.

                                                                                          1. Locally, we have Humphrey Slocombe's - and good old Uncle Humphrey makes an ice cream called "Secret Breakfast." It's boubon ice cream with crunchy cornflakes mixed in. It's absolutely delicious, and the minute I heard the flavor name and a description of the ice cream, it DID call to mind an ex-co-worker who used to take his "coffee" in a mug. Only problem being that you could hear the ice cubes going clankity clank tinkly clank, he smelled of it, and he proceeded to show his impairment more and more througout the day..Yuch.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                              I used to wait tables down here in the south and we'd have a few baptists come in after church for brunch on Sundays. They would order their "coffee" in mugs. It used to crack me up until I realized that they'd left me a 10% tip and a little pamphlet that encouraged me to be saved. Ha!

                                                                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                I guess the chance at salvation was the REAL tip, lynnlato.
                                                                                                God. No pun intended. Better yet, for Pete's SAKE!

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  Ha! Thankfully there were more sinners then the pamphlet-toting folks. And the sinners were great tippers. ;-)

                                                                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                Humphrey's also on occasion has a mimolette ice cream that made me happy. Another place that I've had good and somewhat unusual ice cream/ gelato flavours in SF was Delise where they do a bunch of Asian ones like yuzu. And then there's Marco Polo for durian :-). You Bay Area folks are spoiled for choice in ice cream.

                                                                                                I've tried a bunch of crazy flavours at a local gelateria that specializes in them (wasabi etc) but didn't enjoy any of them, mostly because the gelato is not very good.

                                                                                                All time fave flavours were from Greg's in Toronto -- toasted marshmallow and sweet cream.

                                                                                              3. I enjoy going to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in NYC when I'm in town. The black sesame is a favorite, and the lychee is good too. I haven't yet tried the durian or the wasabi. But I'm game.

                                                                                                Here in Charlotte a local chef, Marc Jacksina @ Halcyon, is trying different ice cream flavors. I had his blue cheese ice cream with local honey and figs and it was really surprisingly delicious.

                                                                                                I made a vanilla custard ice cream and topped it with a thai peanut sauce and it was REALLY good. I think swirling the sauce into the custard would be fantastic.

                                                                                                1. I'm surprised bacon hasn't been mentioned yet!

                                                                                                  I live in Berkeley, CA, and I go to a local ice cream shop called Ici a lot.

                                                                                                  At Ici, they make their own flavors and they rotate all the time. The one that I've had that I love is Early Grey. My friend who used to work there loved the Maple Candied Bacon flavor! I regularly see other flavors like Honey Juniper, Saffron Ice Milk, Banana Curry.. yum. My friend was always weirded out when people came in and bought a quart of plain vanilla...

                                                                                                  1. Weird ice creams. True! I'm not making this up:

                                                                                                    - Habanero Ice Cream and Mango habanero Ice Cream.

                                                                                                    - Spaghetti Bolognaise Ice Cream.

                                                                                                    - Spleen & Artichoke Ice cream. Italy.

                                                                                                    - Sardines & Brandy Ice cream

                                                                                                    - Anchovy ice cream

                                                                                                    - Haggis ice cream. Complete with sheeps intestines.

                                                                                                    - Basashi raw horsemeat ice cream from Japan, and all of the following are also from Japan:

                                                                                                    - Ox Tongue Ice Cream.

                                                                                                    - Chicken Ice Cream.

                                                                                                    - Squid Gut Ice Cream.