17 Unusual Ice Cream Flavors We’re Scared to Try
Cookies, cake and pie are great and all, but ice cream is the one dessert we could not give up. What other treat can be dumped into a mug of root beer without making it weird, hm? Exactly. Pie can't even function without a hefty scoop of vanilla bean.
Ice cream is a life-changing dessert with endless applications, and some ice cream makers get extremely creative with their creamy, sugary concoctions. Potentially, too creative. Would you try any of these weird ice cream flavors? The verdict's still out on No. 1.
17. Lavender Earl Grey Ice Cream
This one is unusual but honestly the least weird. Lavender, a plant with fragrant, purple blooms, is used for soothing essential oils and in culinary specialties across the globe.
It’s become a trendy flavoring for coffee drinks and ice cream, and pairing it with bergamot-infused earl grey tea is actually a genius move.
16. Curry Coconut Ice Cream
Curry dishes are an Indian specialty, typically paired with coconut milk, cream and a combination of veggies and meat. These dishes vary in spiciness level, but they're often a combination of sweet and savory.
Adding curry spices to ice cream is a bold move, but it’s a great one. Some creameries toss in cashews, peanuts, pistachio or pineapple to sweeten the deal.
15. Firecracker Ice Cream
Clumpies, an ice cream company in Chattanooga, Tennessee, doesn’t sound appealing, but hear us out. Its firecracker ice cream is fruit flavored, almost like fruit punch and mixed with Pop Rocks (similar to flavors that Baskin-Robbins has produced over the years).
It’s sweet, creamy and almost tropical, with the surprising popping sensation we all know and love.
14. Sweet Corn Ice Cream
In Arizona, Sweet Republic invented a tasty ice cream creation with a summery southern flair. Their mouthwatering sweet corn ice cream tastes similar to fresh corn on the cob, only in ice cream form.
It includes whole corn kernels, adding a crunchy pop of sweetness.
13. Bacon Maple Crunch Ice Cream
Dessert for breakfast is never a bad idea. Or is this breakfast for dessert? We’ll let you be the judge. The artisanal Rehoboth Beach Ice Cream Store in Delaware took its bacon maple ice cream to a national championship and came fifth out of 500.
Pro tip: Add a scoop to a tall stack of hot, fluffy, homemade pancakes with a drizzle of real maple syrup.
12. Pear and Blue Cheese Ice Cream
This Salt and Straw specialty sounds like an extravagant pizza instead of an ice cream flavor. It’s surprisingly tasty, however.
The West Coast ice cream chain makes the flavor using candied Bartlett pears and chunks of crumbled blue cheese, aged to perfection at Rogue Creamery. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. But if it works for salt and caramel, why not fruit and fromage?
11. Everything Bagel Ice Cream
Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is no stranger to creative ice cream flavors. Its everything bagel ice cream went viral and includes a cream cheese base with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic and onion.
It’s sweet, savory and tastes exactly like an everything bagel. We wanted to hate it, but it’s somehow addictive.
10. Pizza Ice Cream
Pizza and ice cream is a standard movie-night combo but usually not tossed together in a blender. Ice cream company Van Leeuwen’s came up with an edgy new ice cream flavor inspired by our favorite cheesy, doughy Italian dish.
It doesn’t include chunks of pizza crust and diced pepperoni, thankfully. Instead, it combines cream cheese-flavored ice cream, colored with egg yolks that boost the creaminess. A ribbon of tomato jelly completes the pizza package. If that’s not your cup of tea, they also make a mac ‘n cheese flavored ice cream.
9. Garlic Ice Cream
If Italian food is your favorite, we have news: The San Francisco-based Stinking Rose restaurant has a menu dominated by garlic. Almost everything on the menu includes garlic, and the dessert offerings are no exception.
Gilroy’s Famous Garlic Ice Cream, inspired by the garlic capital of the world in Gilroy, California, is usually drizzled with chocolate sauce. For those who usually pick plain vanilla or chocolate, stick with Baskin-Robbins instead.
8. Honey Jalapeño Pickle Ice Cream
Expecting mamas, we got you. Ice cream and pickles are commonly joked-about pregnancy craving, and Sweet Action Ice Cream in Denver, Colorado, made it happen.
It’s made with real dill pickles straight from a local pickle factory, real hot peppers and ribbons of honey. We can feel the heartburn starting already, but it might just be worth it.
7. Mountain Dew and Doritos Ice Cream
Missouri-based Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream is home to countless creative concoctions, and Mountain Dew and Doritos is one of its most popular hits.
This weird ice cream flavor isn't always offered, but when it is, it’s a light-yellow shade with green sprinkles and crumbled Doritos sprinkled liberally on top. Our grade-school selves would be into it, but our adult taste buds remain skeptical.
6. Deviled Egg Custard With Smoked Black Tea Ice Cream
Salt and Straw did it again when it launched the experimental deviled egg custard with smoked black tea ice cream in 2022. The flavor's exactly like it sounds: a mashup of egg-yolk custard, black salt and shortbread infused with smoked black tea.
It’s also swirled with balsamic egg-white marshmallow fluff — eccentric yet intriguing.
5. Squid Ink Ice Cream
Squids, just like octopuses, release a jet-black ink to disorient predators. We’re not sure who would look at squid ink and think, “Huh, I wonder what that tastes like?”
Evidently, someone has because it has been a common ice cream flavor in Japan for years. Squid ink ice cream is just as black as the ink itself and has a uniquely shiny texture.
4. Wasabi Ice Cream
That’s going to be a no for us, dawg. Wasabi, a pea-green condiment served with sushi, is used to cleanse the palate between courses. It’s that spicy. If you accidentally scoop up a spoonful, you won’t soon forget it.
Laboratorio del Gelato, located in New York City, decided to toss the spicy Japanese root into their ultra-creamy ice cream blend. It doesn’t have as strong of a kick as one would imagine, but is it worth a try? We'll let you be the judge.
3. Foie Gras Ice Cream
Philippe Faur, a French ice cream brand, really wanted to stay true to its roots. In an effort to taste as expensive as possible, the brand threw in flavors like caviar and truffle. Foie gras, flavored with pâté made from the liver of fattened geese, is even weirder (and illegal in some places).
It’s a delicacy in France, but we’re not sure about liver-flavored ice cream. This is one we haven’t tested ourselves, and we think we’ll leave that up to readers braver than us.
2. Lobster Ice Cream
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Maine … eat lobster ice cream? Seafood-flavored dessert sounds odd to most of us, but it’s relatively common in the Pine Tree state.
Lobster is a specialty there, and picking up a lobster ice cream cone while in Bar Harbor is something of a rite of passage. It sounds fishy at best, but the base is vanilla flavored with buttery chunks of lobster meat mixed in it.
1. Cicada Ice Cream
We can summarize this one in a single word: no. Have you ever seen a cicada? For your sake, we hope not. They’re massive insects that scream at night, leaving their exoskeletons lying around by day.
There was a plague of them in New Jersey, so The Bent Spoon ice cream shop decided to make some money from it, and what started as an April Fool's joke turned into a reality. The owners launched their "shock flavor" in June 2021, and it sold out in under an hour. By using a chocolate and brown-sugar base mixed with dried, powdered cicadas, it mainly just tasted like chocolate ice cream with an extra dose of protein, but this is one flavor we’re happy to skip.