San Francisco, Travel

9 Ice Cream Flavors That You Didn’t Know Existed

Savory Ice Cream Fried Chicken Waffle

Spring is in full swing here in San Francisco. Warmth = something to cool yourself down = ice cream of course! But not just any ice cream, we are talking about some serious gourmet flavors that will blow your mind away!

Having grown up with multicultural food, I am pretty composed when it comes to trying new food. Stewed pig intestine, no problem! Deep fried crickets, sure! Stinky tofu, love it! But uni (sea urchin) ice cream? Or fried chicken and waffle ice cream?

Savory Ice Cream UniSavory ice cream is apparently one of the most anticipated food trends this year. Being a foodie, it’s my obligation to know what’s going on. So after a week’s long research (including hours of doodling), here are some quick highlights of my research:

  • Savory ice cream is one of the top food trends of 2015 (comprehensive report  by Baum+ Whiteman international restaurant consultants here). Special flavor hummus is also on the list! Check out my alligator pear hummus recipe.
  • Savory ice cream is versatile to eat. You can pair it with your main course or appetizer or just serve as dessert.
  • Ideal for impressing foodie guests like me!
  • Basic ingredients are very similar to sweet ice cream with milk, cream, sugar, egg, what not.

Here is a list of the most happening savory ice cream this year and where you can find them. While I was sketching these ‘interesting’ ice cream flavors, I started to imagine what they would taste like, so I rated them based on my own imagination, hehe.

  1. Fried Chicken & Waffles at Coolhaus in Los Angeles
  2. Uni (Sea Urchin) at Morimoto in Philadelphia
  3. Miso & Cherry at Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. in New YorkSavory Ice Cream Miso Cherry
  4. Chorizo & Caramel Swirl at Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. in New YorkSavory Ice Cream Chorizo Caramel
  5. Black Raspberries & Pork Belly at Salt & Straw in Portland & Los AngelesSavory Ice Cream Raspberry Porkbelly
  6. Pear and Blue Cheese at Salt & Straw in Portland & Los AngelesSavory Ice Cream Pear Blue Cheese
  7. Pizza (tomato paste, garlic, oregano and basil) at Little Baby’s Ice Cream in PhiladelphiaSavory Ice Cream Pizza
  8. Hibiscus & Beet Sorbet at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco (Check out 30 amazing ice cream spots in SF)Savory Ice Cream Hibiscus Beets
  9. Jesus Juice Sorbet (Red Wine & Coca-Cola) at Humphry Slocombe in San FranciscoSavory Ice Cream Wine Coke Jesus

In my opinion, a bad-ass savory ice cream is one with bold flavors, like spicy with sweet, or salty with tart and comes with distinct textures that characterize the special ingredients. Even though uni is rated at 100% squint level, I think its creamy texture actually works well in ice cream.

So here is a list of “if I were the ice cream scientist” combos. If you are attempted to make your own savory ice cream, be aware that most savory flavors taste weaker once frozen, so you will want to go all out in the flavoring department. This could mean adding more salt, spices, or whatever mind boggling ingredients you are concocting.

  • Hummus + Granny Smith Apples
  • Unagi (BBQ Eel) + Nutella
  • Deep Fried Tofu + Mango
  • Butter Gnocchi + Apple Cinnamon
  • Horchata + Avocado
  • Roasted Yam + Balsamic Vinegar
  • Taro + Ha Gao (Shrimp Dumpling)
  • Smoked Beef Jerky + Tapioca

Let me know what you think, I would love to hear what your crazy combination is!

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