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World's Strangest Ice Cream

World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Courtesy of Harrods

Haggis Ice Cream: London

Haggis—the Scottish dish made of sheep innards and traditionally sealed up sausage-style in the stomach—challenges many palates even in its traditional form. But Morelli’s, a shop in Harrods’s famed food hall, pushes that sheep-tissue envelope further by rendering it into ice cream. Ask in advance and Morelli’s will make other comfort-food ice cream too, including Yorkshire pudding or bangers and mash. Not that this would be a huge shock to Brits, who also reportedly love the Seriously Stilton ice cream made by dairy company Churchfields Farms.

How It Tastes: The haggis ice cream is “quite strong,” admits a Harrods spokeswoman, though she assures us that the effect is perhaps mitigated by the ice cream being “blended” rather than “chunky.” Well, that changes everything: bring on the hot fudge!

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Kate Wu

Lavender Ice Cream, France

Leave it to the French to outclass everybody, even when it comes to an ice cream cone. It’s not unusual here to find flavors evocative of local tastes and aromas, which means a lot of flowers: lavender, rose, jasmine, violets, and poppies. At Fenocchio, a gelateria on the Place Rossetti in Vieux Nice, you can get the floral flavors as well as black olive, rosemary, thyme, and tomato basil.

How It Tastes: Fans find the lavender and rose flavors gentle, even delicate. Ben & Jerry’s “flavor guru” Peter Lind found, when the company tested rose ice cream in Vermont, that Americans were not so impressed. “One guy said, ‘This tastes like my grandmother’s armpit.’”

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Margot Wolfs

“Fox Testicle” Ice Cream: Turkey

Turkish ice cream, or dondurma, is made with goat’s milk and an ingredient called salep—which translates, literally, to “fox testicle.” In reality, it’s a flour ground from wild orchid tubers, which presumably bear some resemblance to a fox’s family jewels. The resulting cold treat is pretty much an only-in-Turkey delicacy, since the wild orchids technically can’t be exported. You can buy it at cafés and street carts, especially in Istanbul.

How It Tastes: Dondurma is chewier than classic ice cream—it can be almost taffy-like, sometimes even eaten with a knife and fork. Dondurma melts slowly too and isn’t even frozen (if it were, you might need a Turkish dentist, pronto). Bonus for the queasy: it’s lower in lactose than cow’s-milk ice cream.

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Amber Pfau

Beer Ice Cream: Munich and Alexandria, VA

Tastes great, extra filling? Beer inspires ice cream makers all over the world, it seems, from random beer gardens in Europe to craft-beer establishments in the U.S. It also tends to be seasonal. At Sarcletti’s ice cream parlor in Munich, the Bavarian wheat-beer ice cream comes out for Oktoberfest in September, while Rustico Restaurant in Alexandria, VA, has a following for its summer popsicles—make that “brew pops”—often made from Belgian fruit ales.

How It Tastes: Depends on the beer used. Beer ice cream fans seem to love Guinness ice cream, which has a richer flavor that can go nicely with chocolate. Sarcletti’s owner, Jürgen Elsner, says the key to good beer ice cream is to eat it very fresh: “It becomes more and more bitter when it grows more than one day.”

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Courtesy of Stocholms Glasshus

Salty Licorice Ice Cream: Sweden

Read labels carefully before you order a scoop in Stockholm. Lakrits can look like dark chocolate or even chocolate-chip ice cream, but contains local favorite salmiakki, or salty licorice. At Stockholm ice cream shop Glasshus, the lakrits is actually coal black in color (check your teeth and lips after a cone). In supermarkets, meanwhile, look for the Lakrits Puck—kind of like an Eskimo Pie hockey puck with a licorice coating.

How It Tastes: Even licorice lovers can find this stuff strong-tasting. Salmiakki contains ammonium chloride, a pungent-smelling form of salt.

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Courtesy of Nestle.com

Durian Ice Cream: Philippines

The spiky-skinned durian is perhaps the most polarizing of all produce: people either love it (as many folks do in Asia) or abhor it for its pungent, sometimes overwhelming aroma. It’s no surprise that Filipinos might like it in ice cream, as their taste in scoops is broader than most. Nestlé Philippines offers a durian flavor, as well as ube (purple yam) and queso (cheese). Local ice cream manufacturer Arce Dairy, found in supermarkets, does durian as well as ice cream flavored with ube, jackfruit (similar in flavor to pineapple), avocado, and cheddar cheese.

How It Tastes: If you’ve always wanted to try durian, this may be the place to start. Fans say it’s sweet, but a mild form of the infamous fruit. Still, chase it with breath mints.

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Chao-Yang Chan / Alamy

Pineapple Shrimp Ice Cream: Taiwan

Tucked in the fish market at Keelung’s Bisha port, Dr. Ice—also known as Shia Bing Hsieh Chiang—offers a menu of ice cream and shaved-ice treats that sound perhaps more like the makings of nice salad entrées: pineapple shrimp, cuttlefish, peanut and wine ice, or mango ‘n’ seaweed.

How It Tastes: Think of pineapple shrimp as cold bisque and you might love it. Fans say it’s not as seafood-y as you’d think, either. Plus, doesn’t everything taste better with sprinkles? But wait—these sprinkles are dried fish bits or roe.

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Wilhelm Joys Andersen

Raw Horseflesh Ice Cream: Tokyo

Surely not, right? The Japanese are an adventurous lot when it comes to their treats, and ice cream is no different. In the Sunshine City shopping mall of the bustling Ikebukuro section of Tokyo you’ll find Ice Cream City, where you can sample a dazzling (or horrifying) array of flavors, from octopus and snake to “basashi vanilla,” which contains chunks of horseflesh sushi. Sounds too bizarre? Maybe you’d prefer the gyu tan, or cow-tongue sorbet. Not that all the locals go for the exotics: Baskin-Robbins reports that the top flavor at its Japanese branches is good ol’ Strawberry Cheesecake.

How It Tastes: Like vanilla and...something very chewy. It’s been described as a little sweet, but sweet in the venison way. Bonus: horsemeat is very lean, so it’s guilt-free, in its way.

World’s Strangest Ice Cream
World’s Strangest Ice Cream


Garlic Ice Cream: Gilroy, CA

This is no surprise in the garlic capital of the world, where the annual Garlic Festival dazzles garlic lovers with food, cook-offs, and even the crowning of a Garlic Queen. You can get a free scoop at the July festival, or buy a scoop the rest of the year at the Garlic Shoppe in the Gilroy Outlet Mall.

How It Tastes: At first taste, it resembles a nice vanilla soft-serve—but the aftertaste is a doozy. “It’s a onetime experience,” admits the Garlic Festival spokesman. “I know of no one who orders three scoops with chocolate syrup and nuts, or has a scoop on their apple pie.”

World’s Strangest Ice Cream

Bacon Ice Cream: Rehoboth Beach, DE

Anyone who has ever dipped a French fry in a chocolate shake will understand this sweet-and-salty delight. The Ice Cream Store along the boardwalk in Rehoboth, DE, first dabbled in meat ice cream with a pulled-pork sundae, but has since developed a loyal following now with bacon and even its new chocolate-covered bacon. The bacon shake is particularly popular. “We sell 10 bacon milkshakes a day,” says owner Chip Hearn. “For some reason it’s become this cult thing.” The more conservative might prefer the Better than Sex flavor, which features devil’s-food-cake batter and crumbled candy bars.

How It Tastes: Bacon goodness. Hearn swears by the Jersey cows that fuel his ice cream and by “a really strong vanilla that will bring out that bacon taste.”

World’s Strangest Ice Cream

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