8. OLIVE OIL (The Bent Spoon, Princeton)
The Bent Spoon owners, Gabrielle Carbone and Matt Errico, have a “what do I want to eat now?” way of operating. That explains flavors like sweet potato, Triumph Brewery stout, crème fraîche, heirloom tomato, bourbon with caramel and sea salt, earl grey, red cabbage and nearly a thousand others, including, of course, olive oil.
How it tastes: Nutty and slightly fruity, just like your favorite EVOO. It doesn’t come with bread to dip—although there was a biscotti on the side— a spoon does suffice.
7. WASABI PEA DUST (Big Gay Ice Cream, NYC)
This one is a little tricky because it’s a topping rather than a flavor of ice cream. Big Gay Ice Cream started out as an experimental ice cream truck and is now New York City’s most worth-the-wait ice cream shop.
The thing is, they only make soft serve, and it’s the toppings that folks talk about most. Try a cone of soft serve, rolled in toasted curried coconut, cayenne pepper, cardamom, sriracha and wasabi pea dust are just a few choices from the bar.
How it tastes: The soft serve isn’t so different from that of McDonald’s, and the wasabi pea dust is just like the stuff you find at the bottom of the wasabi pea container. For us, it’s a lot of hype for something that could essentially be made in the parking lot of the right strip mall.
6.GOAT CHEESE BEET SWIRL (Sweet Action Ice Cream, Denver)
The inspiration for this combo came from Sweet Action Ice Cream owner, Samantha Kopicko’s, daily meal of spinach, beet and goat cheese salad, which she decided to turn into a rich dessert, hold the spinach. The ice cream is made with a rich and salty goat cheese base, topped with a sweet beet syrup.
How it tastes: it’s earthy and creamy, sweet and savory all in one. It tastes nothing like the salad of the same ingredients, but the roasted beets create a pink, gorgeous crimson syrup that complements the tart bite of the goat cheese.
5. KOI FUSION’S KIMCHI & RICE (Salt and Straw, Portland)
Bo Kwon became one of the hottest Korean chefs in America when he opened his first food cart in 2009, turning simple kimchi into sexy creations. His signature Koi Fusion flavor, created for Salt and Straw is a true demonstration of his passion for kimchi. The ice cream is a delicate jasmine rice base is laced with ribbons of kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables) taffy and chocolate bulgogi-kimchi truffles.
How it tastes: It sounds too strange to imagine, but the ice cream does taste like a dream. The flavors are complex, and it’s a pleasure trying to isolate them on the tongue—there’s sweet, floral, tangy and spicy.
4. LOBSTER (Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, Bar Harbor)
Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium of Bar Harbor, Maine has chocolate in the title, but their real passion is their Lobster Ice Cream. The recipe is a butter ice cream-based treat with buttered lobster folded into each bite. This dinner-dessert hybrid is a tasty little Frankenstein that could only ever exist in this one place. So put down your prejudice and dig into a creation that is so wrong it’s right.
How it tastes: The ice cream is infused with real butter, and it’s so delicious it makes one wonder why there aren’t more butter ice creams. The lobster comes on top of the ice cream, so serious doubters of savory desserts can still get away with eating their meat before their sweet.