Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Savory and sweet

The latest trend in the food world could be savory-flavored ice creams. Gourmet Magazine writes about Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream in San Francisco, which is banking on people taking a liking to bourbon-cornflake or prosciutto ice cream. The Globe notes that a few Boston restaurants are also introducing some different flavors like gorgonzola and lavender honey.

Wacky flavors are more often found on high-end restaurant dessert menus rather than in the standard ice cream shop, presumably because the restaurants don't need to rely on a particular flavor selling well in order to keep it around. But I appreciate the deviation from the standard Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry. Sure, the old standbys are good for apple pie, but dessert is supposed to be fun and experimenting with new combinations helps to keep things from getting boring.

Shake Shack's rotating monthly custard calendar currently has one of my favorite, underused flavors on Thursdays - Earl Gray- and a promising-sounding Coffee & Donuts custard on Mondays.

On a past trip to Boston - a city with a more impressive set of independent ice cream shops - I tasted Pad Thai ice cream at JP Licks. It was likely the worst flavor I have ever sampled. I asked the people behind the counter if anyone had ever actually ordered the flavor and unsurprisingly the answer was a resounding no, though many were curious enough to try it. At Toscanini's, also in Boston, I once had a delicious Nilla wafer ice cream, but on subsequent visits have not seen it again; perhaps others did not appreciate it quite it as much. Another time, I tasted Cardamom and decided to go for it, but as a full serving it was overwhelming and the seeds texturally unappealing. Closer to home, at the Chinatown Ice Cream factory, I always go for the almond cookie ice cream. I am game to try almost anything at least once, so bring on the new flavors!

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