What’s your favourite ice cream flavour? Strawberry, chocolate, vanilla…broccoli and cheese?
Frozen desserts date back to the first Persian Empire 2,300 years ago, and since then, whether it’s frozen custard, gelato, sherbet or ice cream, people around the world have been wincing from brain freeze and coming back for seconds.
Here’s our list of some of the most interesting flavours from ice cream shops, sorbet stands, and gelaterias across the globe—some simply unfamiliar to many North American palates, some downright wacky.
Broccoli and cheese: Mr. Norm’s Nephew, Wasaga Beach, Ontario
If you’ve ever been to Wasaga Beach, you’ll know that the best place to get your chill on is Mr. Norm’s Nephew (which used to be Mr. Norm’s, until it was taken over by, you guessed it, his nephew). There, you can get old-fashioned frozen yogourt—a brick of yogourt combined with frozen fruit or any number of add-ins, including maple sandwich cookies, granola, peanut butter, and even broccoli and cheese.
Rosewater and noodles: Bella Gelateria, Vancouver, BC
Bella Gelateria is an international award-winning gelato shop in Vancouver, and its flavours are legendary among Vancouverites. Bella Gelateria has a fairly consistent list of standard favourites, along with seasonal offerings that change on a regular basis. One of their standard sorbettos is Faloudah, which is based on a traditional Persian dessert (also called paloodeh) and features rosewater-flavoured sorbet and sweet vermicelli rice noodles.
Stout: Greg’s Ice Cream, Toronto, Ontario
Take rich, creamy ice cream and combine it with dark, sweet, malty beer, and you have Greg’s stout-flavoured ice cream. The flavours go remarkably well together, but if you’re not a Guinness fan, don’t worry—the Toronto institution’s signature flavour, roasted marshmallow, is also on offer, and will remind you of good times around the campfire with your first bite.
Sriracha: Various locations
Yup, the cult-favourite condiment makes its appearance in ice cream, too. From Little Baby’s Ice Cream in Philadelphia (you know, the company with those insanely creepy ads) to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in New York (who list strawberry and chocolate as “exotic” flavours), the spicy sauce shows up paired with Earl Grey tea and chocolate chips, and on its own. If you’re in a DIY mood, you can even make your own sriracha ice cream sandwich.
Durian: Various locations
Apparently durian tastes better than it smells, which is just as well, since durian is so stinky it’s not allowed on public transit or in hotel lobbies in several cities in southeast Asia. While many really do find the aroma pleasant, others find That being said, the rich, custardy fruit is a popular flavour, especially for desserts. If you’re brave, you can try a durian milkshake at many Vietnamese restaurants, or grab ice cream or gelato at a number of places, including Kekou Gelato House in Toronto.
Foie Gras: Philippe Faur, Aix-en-Provence, France
Creamy, indulgent, rich: the words that describe premium ice cream could also be used to describe foie gras—so why not combine them? If you happen to be in France, check out Philippe Faur, which boasts boutiques in Albi and Aix-en-Provence. While you could enjoy their foie gras ice cream in a cone, their website also provides recipe suggestions for making the most of your splurge.
What’s the most unusual ice cream flavour you’ve ever tried?