Yuzu slices. Photo credit: StockFood
What could be more straightforward—from a culinary perspective, of course—than ice cream? Think about it: The most popular American flavor is vanilla. The neutral, rich, custard-y base takes to just about any flavor one can infuse, add, or crush into it. It’s a form just begging for invention and improvisation.
Luckily, countless people have thought about ice cream and its endless possibilities, many from a global perspective. Here are a few of the amazing flavor combinations that can result from this summertime staple.
Fried Chicken and Waffles (Coolhaus, Various Locations)
The good folks at this dessert empire don’t shy away from things that sound…well, crazy…in the pursuit of savory dessert progress. Case in point: Fried Chicken and Waffles, for which the Coolhaus honchos take a brown-butter maple ice cream base and mix in candied fried chicken skin and hunks of waffle. Sound nuts? Know that they also pulled off a Peking duck flavor, using crunchy duck skin, Chinese 5-spice, and crumbled fortune cookies.
Peanut Butter Curry (Humphry Slocumbe, San Francisco)
Sure, this upscale Bay Area joint features a bevy of non-traditional flavors (foie gras and ancho chili among them), but the combination flavors, including peanut butter curry, milk chocolate-tarragon, and sweet-spicy strawberry candied jalapeño, are just as intriguing.
Tequila and Squid Ink (Ramekin, Los Angele, California)
Ice cream and fish? This wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows in Japan (where palates often tilt towards the fish-friendly, even during the sweet times), but it’s noteworthy in Los Angeles. At this dessert café, chefs spike the near-savory squid ink ice cream with the unofficial national Mexican spirit and top it with red fish roe.
Yuzu Verbena (Momofuku Milk Bar, New York)
This one isn’t so much crazy on the palate as crazy with possibilities. Imagine a bright citrus soft serve with a fragrant, herbal scent to it. Nice, right? Then realize, as you’re enjoying your cone, that the name “Yuzu Verbena” would make an absolutely fantastic stage name for your budding career as a burlesque dancer. And let the mind go wild.