Fancy a scoop of cigar ice cream The weird and wacky trends sweeping the frozen dessert aisle
02:07 GMT, 18 June 2012
Step away from the raspberry ripple! If your ice cream isn’t weird and wacky, then it’s just not cool.
Chef Ferran Adria kick-started the trend with parmesan ice cream at his gourmet restaurant El Bulli in Spain. Now Heston Blumenthal’s mustard ice cream is sold at Waitrose, along with chocolate and rosemary.
All sorts of strange flavours are appearing on menus. At Pollen Street Social in Mayfair, you’ll find beetroot or crab sorbet. At his eponymous restaurant, Tom Aikens has goats’ curd ice cream.
Culinary trend: If your ice cream isn't weird and wacky, then it's just not cool
‘Two years ago, people raised their eyebrows at our sea-salted caramel ice cream,’ says Ahrash Akbari-Kalhur of experimental ice cream firm Chin Chin Labs.
‘Now we sell grilled sweetcorn ice cream and cigar-smoked caramel. People want the bragging rights to say they’ve tried it. The most important thing is they taste great. Our sales are up 60 per cent on last year, despite the weather.’
They have launched grass, strawberry and hay flavours for Wimbledon. Sheffield-based ice cream wizard Yee Kwan sells parsnip and wasabi or smoked olive oil and black pepper ice creams at restaurants across the country and Harvey Nichols (5.95 for 500ml). Ice-cream supremo Matt O’Connor has come up with a recipe that’s not for the faint-hearted: breast milk and absinthe.
Experimental ice cream firm Chin Chin Labs sells grilled sweetcorn ice cream and cigar-smoked caramel
If you want to try your hand at home-made ice cream, try Matt’s new book, The Icecreamists: Vice Creams, Ice Cream Recipes & Other Guilty Pleasures. Patriotic coronation chicken ice cream made by Italian restaurant Gelupo in Soho for the Jubilee sounds terrible, but tastes lovely.
‘When our chef Jacob Kenedy and I tried it, we started giggling,’ say general manager Alec Paterson. ‘It shouldn’t work, but it does.’ Selfridges are about to stock it. In Gelupo’s sister restaurant, Bocca Di Lupo, sanguinaccio ice cream is often on the menu: it’s made with pig’s blood and chocolate. ‘We’re working on a basil and olive oil ice cream that is stunning,’ says Paterson.
Just don’t ask for a 99.