Looking for a frozen treat that will send chills down your spine? For generations, Japan has served up the wildest ice creams, including flavors like eel, chicken wings and -- no kidding -- raw horsemeat.
Responding to this chilly challenge, America's most creative ice cream makers have come up flavors designed to make you scream with pleasure or horror, depending on your taste. We'll save the best (or worst) for last, but as Exhibit A, we present these brave souls at the Gilroy (California) Garlic Festival lining up to pay cold cash for, yes, garlic ice cream.
At least this summery treat has the word "sweet" in its name. This particular version of corn ice cream comes from Palapa Azul, a Los Angeles-based purveyor of premium Mexican-style frozen treats, including Hibiscus Flower sorbet and Cucumber-Chili frozen fruit bars.
Grilled Idaho Potato Ice Cream
Have you ever noticed that mashed potatoes look just like ice cream? Well now you can meld these two comfort foods right in your own kitchen. The Idaho Potato Commission has the complete recipe for this eye-catching concoction, Grilled Idaho® Potato Ice Cream with Milk Chocolate Cake and Bacon Toffee. Don't forget the Potato Ring garnish!
Yep, the bowlful of wonderful shown here inspired the nice ladies from the Scappoose (Oregon) Lions Club, who served up more than 23 gallons of their "famous" Sauerkraut Ice Cream at Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival in 2000. No reports on whether the two gallons of leftovers are still sitting in the back of the Lion's Club fridge.
These days, you can hardly walk three steps without tripping over a slab of bacon. It's everywhere, including in ice cream. Blogger David Lebovitz and the food website Foodista both offer recipes. For those of us without the necessary culinary chops, there's another option: The Ice Cream Store at Delaware's Rehoboth Beach scoops out their own bacon ice cream.
Not sure what they put in the water at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but take a two minute walk west of The Ice Cream Store (previous slide) and you'll find yourself at Udder Delight Ice Cream House. They got bacon ice cream, too. But Udder Delight ratchets up the competition with Memphis Barbecue ice cream. And, yeah, it tastes like barbecue sauce with a triple shot of vanilla.
Unable to obtain a photo of someone actually "enjoying" barbecue ice cream, we offer here something almost as amazing: the Udder Delight logo.
Though not technically ice cream, when beer is involved no one is likely to complain. Rustico , a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, serves mildly alcoholic frozen beer on a stick. Brew guru Frank Morales, shown here enjoying a cold one, brews up a seasonally appropriate selection of his Brew Pops using light Belgian-style beers brewed with fruits like cherry and plum.
Cucumber Honeydew with Cayenne
What if youcould have your vegetables and your ice cream too? Thanks to Jeni Britton Bauer, proprietor of Jeni's ice cream shops in and around Columbus, Ohio, you can. Her seasonal creation, shown here, blends farm-fresh Japanese cucumbers, honeydew melon, and a cayenne kicker into a cool and creamy frozen yogurt. If you're looking for something a bit richer, she also offers Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries ice cream. Or maybe you'd prefer Thai Chili ice cream for some hot and cold running flavor.
Yes, It's Back!
Japan may have its shrimp, fish and crab ice creams, but Bar Harbor, Maine, in the good ol' U. S. of A., proudly claims Lobster ice cream. Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium blends flakes of sweet local lobster into a rich buttery ice cream. Can't make the trip? You can order online -- if you dare!
Savin' the Best for Last
If you like Sarah Palin's speeches, with their interesting amalgamation of seemingly unrelated concepts, then you may also enjoy one her state's most intriguing traditional foods: Eskimo ice cream, or, more melodiously, as Akutaq. Though not technically an ice cream, akutaq does offer a creamy texture, rich mouthfeel and striking fruit flavors. And why wouldn't it, considering that it is traditionally made with seal-oil (or, in a pinch, caribou back-fat), salmonberries, and some combination of sugar, cooked mashed fish, mashed potatoes, milk, eggs, water, and snow. That's according to the respected Alaska education site, Alaskakool.org. Alas, Alaskan modernistas are likely to substitute Crisco for the seal-oil. Sniff!