Summer is almost upon us, which means one thing: the excuse to eat ice cream every day. Can you find somewhere in your strict schedule of chocolate, vanilla, and mint chip to try one of these oddball ice cream flavors?
Lobster ice cream
Maine’s most famous export is lobster, but the people who live there consider it a treat, too—even in ice cream. Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium in Bar Harbor wanted to prove to customers that it really did make its own ice cream in house, so it used the most local ingredient possible. The ice cream itself isn’t lobster-flavored, however—it’s butter-flavored, because what goes better with chunks of lobsters (embedded in the ice cream) than butter?
Baskin-Robbins co-founder Irv Robbins loved ice cream, of course, although one of his favorite flavors was not regularly one of the chain’s famous “31” varieties. He liked a variety called Cold Duck, made to taste like the sweet, sparkling wine style of the same name that was very popular in the mid-20th century. The chain took it off their worldwide menu when company executives found out that some franchises were promoting its launch by hanging dead ducks from their store ceilings. (At least it sounds better than some other flavors Baskin-Robbins test-marketed, but never widely released, such as Ketchup…and Lox & Bagels.)
Pizza ice cream
Philadelphia has a long, rich food culture—most famously it’s the home of the Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich. It’s also the birthplace of pizza ice cream. The City of Brotherly Love’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream shares a restaurant space with a pizzeria, and designed this flavor in tribute, a well-blended and frozen mixture of crushed tomatoes, red pepper, oregano, garlic paste, basil, and salt. (What, no pepperoni and olives?)
Even Ben & Jerry’s, which its decadent ice creams loaded with fudge and nuts, sometimes misses the mark. In 1989, it launched Sugar Plum, which according to company executives is “the worst flavor” they’ve ever put into grocery store freezes. It’s a combination of caramel ice cream, and plum ice cream. Number of pints sold during the first three weeks of its availability: one.
Charlie Harry Francis is an “edible inventor,” paid by wealthy clients to create innovative foods for parties and special events. He’s especially fond of making bizarre frozen treats, including ice cream that glows in the dark, a sorbet made from sprouts…and one made of aphrodisiacs, one traditional, and one, uh, modern. Francis’s “Arousal,” is champagne flavored but is colored blue, just like the pharmaceutical Viagra, which is also a main ingredient.