Put your tastebuds to the test with some of these scrumptious scoops.
Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate may be the most common ice cream flavors at grocery stores and ice cream shops across the country, but artisan makers are starting to think outside the box when it comes to crafting new and unexpected varieties of this beloved summertime treat. Curious to know more about some of the most unique ice cream flavors in the U.S.? Here’s where to find them.
1. Lobster Ice Cream
Bar Harbor, ME: Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium
When in Maine … you order lobster ice cream. If you happen to be strolling down Main Street in Bar Harbor and see the sign for Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, don’t miss the chance to stop in for this one-of-a-kind local treat. Even if you aren’t feeling adventurous enough to try vanilla ice cream blended with bite-size pieces of lobster, the novelty makes it well worth a taste. You can guarantee the lobster will be as fresh as it gets — and you might just find the combination to be surprisingly delicious.
2. Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Provo, UT: Rockwell Ice Cream
Rockwell Ice Cream in South Jordan, Utah, won an award for Best Ice Cream in America in 2019 with this unique flavor. As you might have guessed, their G.O.A.T. is a goat cheese-based ice cream with swirls of lemon jam, plump blackberries, honey and rosemary-toasted almonds for a little extra crunch. It’s goat cheese forward, so anyone who loves the savory, tangy flavor will likely want a second scoop of this one.
3. Roasted Turmeric and Candied Ginger
Juneau, AK: Coppa
How would you like to stop by Juneau’s very first handmade ice cream shop? Next time you find yourself in Alaska, stroll through Coppa and experience everything there is to love about this beautiful ice cream parlor and coffee shop combo. As for what to order, we recommend their Roasted Turmeric and Candied Ginger flavor. It’s not only delicious but anti-inflammatory as well, so it’s practically a health food. A win-win!
4. Sweet Corn
Scottsdale, Phoenix & Tempe, AZ: Sweet Republic
In Arizona, Sweet Republic has created a surprising treat that screams summer. This unique ice cream flavor is decadent, delicious and contains whole kernels of locally grown sweet corn. Don’t knock it until you try it because many happy customers have walked away saying it’s an unexpectedly tasty dessert. You can try some of this decadent dessert at one of their locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix or Tempe.
5. Thai Basil Coconut
New Orleans, LA: Creole Creamery
A hearty scoop of Thai Basil Coconut ice cream sounds like an excellent way to cool off a hot summer day. It makes sense you would find this wild creation in the heart of Lousiana. A little bit of spice, a touch of fresh herbs and the smooth creaminess of coconut? It’s easy to see why this imaginative flavor at Creole Creamery is so popular.
6. Butter Beer
Milford, CT: Walnut Beach Creamery
Gourmet ice cream abounds at Walnut Beach Creamery in Milford, CT. Small batches of each flavor are made in their own kitchen, including Butter Beer, which is bound to delight Harry Potter fans everywhere. Curious what it tastes like? They say it is reminiscent of butterscotch, so we’re pretty sure Harry, Ron and Hermione would approve.
7. Baked Brie with Almond Ricotta Macaroons
Little Rock, AR: Loblolly Creamery
Loblolly Creamery uses local and organic ingredients as often as possible when concocting their small-batch, handcrafted ice cream flavors. And while you could easily order something more traditional, like vanilla or milk chocolate, they also offer tons of out-of-the-box, artisanal flavors like their Baked Brie with Almond Ricotta Macaroons.
8. Honey Jalapeño Pickle
Denver, CO: Sweet Action Ice Cream
Yes, you read that right. Honey Jalapeño Pickle ice cream is on the menu at Sweet Action Ice Cream in Denver. Before you get too tempted to skip right by this strange flavor, though, consider that they’ve been named one of the best ice cream shops in the country by Food & Wine, Thrillist and VegNews. Clearly, they know what they’re doing!
9. Bacon Maple Crunch
Rehoboth Beach, DE: Rehoboth Beach Ice Cream
Everyone raves about bacon, but would you put it in your ice cream? Maybe when it’s combined with maple syrup, you would. At least that’s what the artisan makers at Rehoboth Beach Ice Cream did. They even took their homemade bacon ice cream to a championship in Kansas City and finished 5th out of 500, so there’s definitely something to savor here.
10. Lemon Olive Oil
Jersey City, NJ: Milk Sugar Love
Would you order a creamy lemon olive oil ice cream? Made with lemon-infused Sicilian olive oil, this artisan dessert is one of the most unique on the menu at Milk Sugar Love, a small ice cream shop in Jersey City. Their menu varies weekly as they come up with new and innovative flavors, so you never know if you’ll find something even more outside the box from time to time.
11. Pear and Blue Cheese
Portland, OR: Salt and Straw
How do you make a pear and blue cheese ice cream? Salt and Straw does it by candying Oregon Bartlett pears to emphasize their natural flavors, then folding in crumbled bites of cave-aged blue cheese from Rogue Creamery. This marriage of ingredients gives you the smooth, sweet taste of pears combined with the bold punch of blue cheese. Think of it as a new way to experience sweet and savory.
Chattanooga, TN: Clumpies
If Firecracker ice cream doesn’t sound like a winner, we aren’t sure what does. This one begins as an all-fruits base but includes a healthy smattering of Pop Rocks. The end result? A sweet and tasty scoop of fruity ice cream complete with all the crackling you could ever hope for from the Chattanooga-based shop, Clumpies.
13. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
New York, NY: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Did you grow up on Kraft macaroni and cheese? If so, this might be your dream come true. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream in New York came up with this limited-edition flavor to celebrate National Mac and Cheese Day. People had strong reactions to its release, but the numbers don’t lie — it was sold out virtually everywhere, so clearly, there are plenty of takers!
This list first appeared on our sister site, FarmFlavor.com.