I scream, you scream, we all scream--for Ice Cream!
August 3, 2009 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Ice creams (the site takes a little long to load, but is well worth the wait, especially for its discription of "kulfi"... yummm) from around the world—some more bizarre than others.
posted by hadjiboy (38 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I hope there is crab, tiger, and almond ice cream.
posted by Mister_A at 8:43 AM on August 3, 2009

This makes me think of the ice cream creations of iron chef. Except these are all commercial creations. Keen stuff.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have been searching for dondurma somewhere on the east coast of America for over 15 years now. Heck, at this point I'd be willing to travel just about anywhere closer than Turkey for some...
posted by JoanArkham at 8:50 AM on August 3, 2009

I've heard that arabic ice cream is almost incomparably gross. Apparently they use some sort of gum to prevent it from melting so quickly in the hot desert sun. Perhaps this is the same as the Turkish variety? In any case, I'd probably try it if I had the opportunity, but the person who described it to me did not make it sound very appealing.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:52 AM on August 3, 2009

Before I knew what gave it dondurma its "stretchyness" I thought it was honey. It's that kind of texture. Not gross, but very different than any other ice cream (or food, really) I've ever had.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:59 AM on August 3, 2009

I've heard that arabic ice cream is almost incomparably gross. Apparently they use some sort of gum to prevent it from melting so quickly in the hot desert sun.

Gum arabic, if that's what you are linking of, is probably used in US ice cream too.
posted by DU at 9:04 AM on August 3, 2009

Gum arabic, if that's what you are linking of, is probably used in US ice cream too.

Well, the person I talked to called it "Arabic ice cream" (sorry, should have capitalized), and I think he was referring to the fact that he had it when he was living in Jordan. I don't think he was referring to its chemical composition.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:06 AM on August 3, 2009

No, but you said "some sort of gum" and indicated it was a stabilizer. Which is exactly what gum arabic is.
posted by DU at 9:08 AM on August 3, 2009

Funny they didn't mention Italian gelato on the main link. I took a summer off, biking around Italy a few years ago and one of the best parts was coming into a new town at the end of the day and buying some fresh gelato. Wonderful. And 3 cheers for Persian ice cream, also unmentioned. As an aside - I might be mistaken, but American ice cream seems to have become gimmicky, overly-sweet and overly-loaded over the past few years (esp. Ben and Jerry's). Although I will say that Häagen-Dazs' plain Chocolate (after eating a pint by myself on a very hot first day of August) seems as simple and pure as ever.
posted by Auden at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2009

Finland: Many, many variants of salt liquorice, which really don't work that well, but tar ice cream is heavenly. I think I go get one.
posted by Free word order! at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2009

Adding cream, eggs, and chocolate chips to the shopping list. Done. Maybe a hand of ginger. I might have to go on an ice cream-making binge this week.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2009

You know, I've never been able to enjoy Langnese ice cream quite the same way after I stumbled upon this list of symbols identified by the FBI.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2009

Woah! Viagra flavoured ice cream?!

I've yet to taste fried ice cream...think i might start with that first.
posted by tokidoki at 9:26 AM on August 3, 2009

The best ice cream I have ever tasted was the handmade small-batch house specialty of saffron, rosewater, and pistachio at a local (sadly now defunct) Persian restaurant. To get all TMI about it, frankly it was the only food I have eaten that straight-forwardly, literally made me feel orgasmic--my face got flushed and I just felt...glowy afterwards. For hours. Amazing.

That said, I ain't knockin' mango kulfi or Pittsburgh Strip District candy shop gelato...or hell, even Breyer's, or cartons of Wegman's generic brand Mexican Sundae. Mmm.
posted by ifjuly at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2009

Get thee to a gelatoterium that serves it infused with Saffron.

and, hey firefox spell checker, i spelled that right? that's a word? gelatoterium? i thought i was being clever.
posted by sleslie at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2009

Higo Chumbo ice cream is very refreshing.
posted by adamvasco at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2009

I would like to try the good Indian ice cream. Like the author of the piece, I too have found what little I've tried (granted, on the dessert bar of Indian lunch buffet places) to be very icy and granular.

Although I will say that Häagen-Dazs' plain Chocolate (after eating a pint by myself on a very hot first day of August) seems as simple and pure as ever.

Haagen-Dazs frozen yogurt (especially the wildberry flavor) is really amazing as well. Incredibly rich.

My husband and I went out to eat a few weeks ago, and the meal ended with a gelato trio. The first two flavors, chocolate hazelnut and honey vanilla, were pretty good. The goat cheese/caramel flavor was astonishingly good. You could really taste the goat cheese, and (surprisingly) that was a good thing.
posted by misskaz at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2009

uh, this link for the gelatoterium.
posted by sleslie at 9:41 AM on August 3, 2009

I asked a local shop what was in their "Hello Kitty" ice cream.

Birthday cake dough with sprinkles.

Of course.
posted by cosmac at 9:53 AM on August 3, 2009

that's a word? gelatoterium?
gelateria is the word you might be looking for

posted by romakimmy at 10:14 AM on August 3, 2009

Ice cream is a dish best served cold.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:19 AM on August 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

I work two blocks from a Toscanini's, so I've enjoyed many an afternoon Earl Grey, saffron, or chocolate chili ice cream from them.

That said, the most amazing ice cream I've ever had was in the Restaurant Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. It was infused with poppies (yup, it was heroin ice cream) and had sugared petals on top. I have dreams about that ice cream.
posted by olinerd at 10:29 AM on August 3, 2009

(Oops, meant to link Toscanini's)
posted by olinerd at 10:29 AM on August 3, 2009

Thanks for this. I just got an ice cream maker (Cuisinart -- highly recommended), and have been searching for the kind of recipes that really justify the extra effort. My favorite so far is watermelon sorbet with dark chocolate and sambuca; I don't bother with the steps designed to make it look like a watermelon, just add chopped dark chocolate, but it's still sublime and unlike anything you can buy. The recipe has already convinced at least one of my friends to get an ice cream maker.
posted by jhc at 10:37 AM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

jhc: we also just got a machine (our local Costco had the 2 quart Cuisinart for $50) and so far all the recipes we have tried from The Perfect Scoop have been amazing.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:48 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Obligatory link to Berthillon, mentioned in the first article (favorites including Caramel au beurre salé and Noix de coco). Swedish/Danish soft-serve may come in at number one, however: Hauffes Glassbar in Helsingborg has delicious vanilla ice cream which you can have dipped in various toppings (like melted chocolate, chocolate sprinkles or cocoa powder).
posted by nonmerci at 10:50 AM on August 3, 2009

Last night I made a batch of coconut ice-cream. The night before I made rhubarb ice-cream with fresh rhubarb from the garden. Tonight it's rose.

If anyone knows how to replicate the amazing liquorice ice-cream they serve in Italy, let me know.

Sooner or later I'm going to have to switch on the backup freezer...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:31 AM on August 3, 2009

I will suggest Cook's Country Easy Chocolate Ice Cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream maker (just a freezer).

This is super-easy and super-delicious, and takes all of 10 minutes to make (with the exception of freezing). Essentially, the recipe is: melt chocolate in sweetened condensed milk and fold in whipped cream.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:44 AM on August 3, 2009

Oh, hell, I've got nearly two cases of mediocre homebrew stout in the basement. I bet it'd be killer in ice cream.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2009

Back in the Bay Area, I looked forward to the days when mojito gelato was in the case at Gelataria Naia. It was fantastic--cool, minty, citrusy, zingy, and perfect. I can't drink due to an alcohol intolerance, but I can't imagine a real mojito being anywhere nearly as satisfying as that little cup of goodness.

I also had the peculiar experience of trying horseradish ice cream at Citizen Cake and garlic ice cream at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. The garlic ice cream was bloody awful, imagine cheap vanilla softserve blended with garlic, but the horseradish ice cream was eye opening. It was the first time I'd had a savory ice cream, and it made this weirdly delightful combination of flavors and textures eaten alongside the hot steak it was served with.

I missed out on the sea salt ice cream at Japan's Disney Sea, but I kinda wish I'd gotten to try it.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:13 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whenever I am in the bay area, I always visit Real Ice Cream. They have delicious Indian flavors of ice cream and kulfi. Last time I was there I had real rose petal ice cream and 'fruit and nut" which were both delicious. (their Chaat isn't bad either!)

But, if you are lactose intollerant (like my brother) or vegan (like my husband) and you don't want to leave San Francisco you can go to Maggie Mudd.

Since the husband is vegan, we usually get Coconut Bliss which is the most delicious non-dairy frozen ice "creme" dessert I've ever had. And thankfully, it is now available nationwide (and not just on the West Coast.)
posted by vespabelle at 2:26 PM on August 3, 2009

I don't have much of a sweet tooth (maybe for American stuff..) but I've been keeping an eye out for the Haagen-Dazs reserve line. I've been able to find the Fleur-de-sal Caramel (very tasty), the Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle (OM NOM NOM DELICIOUS!), and the Amazon Valley Chocolate (good for a chocolate ice cream.)
posted by xorry at 6:56 PM on August 3, 2009

Maybe a hand of ginger.

I've always preferred to use preserved ginger rather than fresh ginger in ice-cream. Preferably with a nice dollop of acacia honey in there as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:18 PM on August 3, 2009

Kulfi is available in every supermarket here - it's lovely. I recommend the pistachio. I used to love Asda's Oreo ice-cream that they did about ten years ago, sold as 'Cookies and Cream' - it had actual bits of Oreos in there rather than dough and was lovely.

My favourite vanilla is Mackey's - very clean tasting, very rich. My boyfriend lived in Japan and says that green tea ice-cream is revolting, but I don't believe it.
posted by mippy at 5:44 AM on August 4, 2009

I've gone three times to the ice cream fair at Tempozan Harbor Village in Osaka where they have all those wacky flavors in the last link of the original post. It's going on now, and I'll be going within the next couple weeks. If you go too late, most of the sickest flavors will be gone. Last year's most memorable was curry ice cream, joining beef tongue, sake, rice and roast eggplant on the weird menu of flavors I've tried. Hokkaido cheese flavor (not cream cheese or cheesecake, but actual hard cheese) was the tastiest, but I try to go for the most bizarre flavor I will actually eat.

Here's the promo video* for this year.
*Warning: 20MB .wmv, downloads to disk, Japanese language.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:54 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

This place is fairly nice.

Also, fried ice cream is amazing. :D
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 9:00 AM on August 4, 2009

There's a gelato place in SF that has a durian flavored gelato. Sadly, the stuff doesn't taste much better in gelato form.
posted by reenum at 7:24 PM on August 9, 2009

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