Quirky Creamery: Unexpected Ice Cream Flavors That Dare To Be Different

By Jhoana C

We always crave something cold and refreshing when the intense heat of summer becomes too much to bear. And what better way to take a break from the high temperatures than indulging in a bowl of creamy, rich, and cold ice cream?

Ice cream is said to have originated in the second century B.C., but we’re not entirely sure who deserves credit for its discovery. The most beloved flavors are probably vanilla and chocolate. Both are classics, and those are the flavors most of us have tasted in childhood- which serves for many as the starting point with a love affair for the sweet treat lasting for the rest of our lives.

That said, there are numerous trendy flavors making waves now. From spicy pepper to salmon and crawfish, these are only for the chosen few with daring palates since they are anything but traditional. Fancy surprising your taste buds? Scoop in and find out!

#1 Spinach Cake and Chocolate Tahini Fudge

Spinach is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of delectable ice cream flavors, so we reckon this will surprise many people. Eating your veggies never looked or tasted this good! Something tells us that this will change your mind about spinach.

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Inspired by a Turkish dessert, the spinach is pureed and baked into a fluffy cake slathered with chocolate frosting. Everything is then crumbled into vanilla ice cream with smears of Tahini fudge. Sounds good, right? It tastes even better. Are you going to eat your greens now?

#2 Custard

Custard in ice cream? You don’t need to tell us twice. We’d be lining up for this even if we were late for work! This is an absolute treat for those who love both ice cream and custard. To make it even more delectable, it’s topped with dried fruits and nuts.

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Frozen custard is made with egg yolks in addition to sweetener, cream, sugar, or a sugar alternative, and additional flavoring. In Europe, custard has many flavors, such as banana, coconut, pistachio, and raspberry. However, most people are only familiar with vanilla custard.

#3 Carbon coconut

This ice cream’s color may scare some people, but to some, it will only induce burning curiosity. It is made from coconut ashes and a few other staple ice cream ingredients. Folks who have eaten it say it tastes like sweet coconut caramel.

Image courtesy of DestrucshuNJ/Reddit

A coconut is cracked open, and the shell with the meat is burned until it’s completely black. The dark part is scraped off and mixed with white sugar, ice cream mix, and coconut milk. After thoroughly mixing the ingredients, everything is poured into the ice cream machine, and voila!

#4 Mustard

Mustard on ice cream? Some may say yuck, but those with adventurous palates would definitely give this a try. Yup, it’s as weird as they come, but you only have one life to live, so you better try all the bizarre types of food out there, this one included.

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A creation of the French, this very polarizing flavor has a deep golden color like its namesake and a strong scent. Some people even say the smell alone made them want to grill hotdogs. It also has a fruity and slightly sweet taste reminiscent of Starbursts. So, what do you say?

#5 Salted Duck Egg

Salted duck egg is a staple in Asian countries, but it’s unusual to Westerners. As weird as it may seem, duck egg yolks make ice cream creamy, rich, yellow, and yummy. The version you see in the photo below was made by Frugii Dessert Laboratory, but there are plenty of others.

Image courtesy of deluxeduck/Instagram

Don’t let the name freak you out. Most versions comprise soft cured duck eggs incorporated into a custard base and spun into the creamiest ice cream similar to crème brulee. Admit it, that description is eggsactly what you’ve been looking for in an ice cream!

#6 Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

This is nothing short of imaginative, and we beg to differ with people who say that Cheetos shouldn’t have done this. Yes, we’re used to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with a crunch, but why should we limit ourselves to that when we can have it cold and creamy?

Image courtesy of Loblolly Creamery/Facebook

Instead of helping you beat the heat, this treat lets you put the heat right in. Cheetos partnered with Marble Slab Creamery to come up with this unusual food mashup, but sadly, it’s no longer available today. Fortunately, there are other versions, such as this one by Loblolly Creamery. 

#7 Salmon

Fancy something fishy? Why not try Salmon ice cream? We’re fans of the fish, so we might be a little biased here when we say we’re up for trying this. However, this might not appeal to people who don’t like anything that tastes remotely fishy.

Image courtesy of royalcaffe_/Instagram

Most versions we found on the web are the candied smoked salmon type mixed with sea salt and maple syrup, which results in a sweet and salty combination. Are your taste buds adventurous enough for this, or would you rather go for the more conventional flavors?

#8 Fennel gelato

Fennel has a flavor mildly similar to anise or licorice, and it’s not what most people would imagine when ice cream is mentioned. But we’re talking about the quirkiest ice cream flavors, so yes, fennel gelato exists. The version you see here was made by Ice Cream Lab.

Image courtesy of icecreamlab/Instagram

They start by juicing both the bulb and the leaves of the plant and mixing it with their signature cream to create an aromatic gelato. We can’t say we’re looking forward to this one, but under scorching heat, we might just get a scoop or two!

#9 Everything Bagel

We usually think of bagels during breakfast, but this is proof that this snack is just as good as a dessert. This flavor is described as buttery streusel laden with poppy seeds, sesame, onion, and garlic with subtly sweet cream cheese. Doesn’t that sound delicious to you?

Image courtesy of jenis.com

Not all people have the same preferences, so it goes without saying that this may not make some people do cartwheels of joy. It’s safe to say, though, that this limited rich and smooth ice cream tastes nothing like breakfast.

#10 Crawfish

Seafood ice cream makes some folks want to puke, so this one is for intrepid foodies. Created by Red Circle Ice Cream, a brand that’s known for outlandish flavors, it got everyone talking when it was launched. Are you up for this seasonal treat?

Image courtesy of redcircleicecream/Instagram

Aside from real crawfish, the ice cream contains Cajun seasoning, butter, and garlic. We hate to disappoint crawfish die-hards, but it doesn’t come with a crawfish topping. According to someone, “It tastes like boiled crawfish, but cold, with ice cream.”

#11 Salty Licorice Ice Cream with Black Vanilla Cone

Black ice cream is all the rage these days. Why? Because it looks unusual. We usually expect ice cream to come in bright colors, so black makes things interesting. Otherwise known as Salmiakki ice cream, this flavor is not for the masses, but if black licorice is your thing, line up.

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This is a staple in Finland, where licorice is intensified with ammonium chloride, and summertime is when Finns consume the most Salmiakki. You can eat it in several ways e.g., as scoops, ice cream bars, and soft-serve. Definitely something to try when you visit Finland.

#12 Green tea and black sesame

If you fancy the color green or love matcha, you should add this to your ice cream list. We don’t see this often, but we wish that there was an ice cream place nearby that had it on their menu. Although there are recipes online, we’re not confident about our skills!

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Healthy, appetizing, and absolutely delicious, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you end up eating at least 2 servings. This is also highly recommended for those traveling to Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun has wonderful versions of this in major cities.

#13 Pringles

We love Pringles chips, especially when watching movies and munching at the same time, but Pringles ice cream? Hmmm, we’re having second thoughts about this one. We don’t see this around very much, so this might have been a limited-edition ice cream.

Image courtesy of maxandminas/Instaram

However, we did see a post on Instagram about a Pringles barbecue-flavored ice cream, but the thing is, we’re unsure if it was an April Fool’s joke or the real thing. We think it was the former because there was no other similar post. Would you happen to know if it exists?

#14 Wasabi

Those who love Japanese food might be familiar with wasabi. True wasabi sauce is made from a plant that grows underground and is often partnered with sushi and sashimi. The sauce has a signature spiciness that nothing will prepare you for.

Image courtesy of laboratoriodelgelato.com

We haven’t tried this, but those who have, say that it exhibits both cooling and warming effects. How is it made? The wasabi root is simply added to classic ice cream. Freshly-grated wasabi is best, but sometimes, they use paste or powder.

#15 Spaghetti

If pasta is in your blood, you might be tempted to try this. But we have to warn you; it’s not really spaghetti-flavored ice cream. Rather, it is a base layer of cream covered with vanilla ice cream that goes through the extruder, giving it a spaghetti-like look.

Image courtesy of outofgamut/Reddit

It’s then topped with white chocolate and raspberry sauce before serving. We urge everyone to read the description before ordering, as we’re sure the last thing anyone wants is a Karen at the ice cream shop complaining about being misled!

#16 Vinegar

We consider ourselves adventurous foodies but vinegar ice cream? We are not sure we love the condiment that much. Maybe the person who thought of this may have had one too many beers, but we’re still trying to keep an open mind!

Image courtesy of loandslobbqderry/Instagram

The first thing that came to mind was why anyone would want to eat something that tasted like vinegar. However, we were stunned that a lot of people said that balsamic vinegar tastes good, and if it came with raspberries, they’d be more than willing to give this one a lick!

#17 Rose and pistachio soft serve

Rose is a big thing in the Middle East, especially in Iran, where the Persian love cake is thought to have originated. Since we’re fans of pistachio, too, we can get totally get behind this flavor. Plus, it looks so good you can almost taste it.

Image courtesy of RocketToTheSky/Reddit

Fans say it can be likened to a creamy and cold Turkish Delight, so expect some nostalgic feelings while eating this. Imagine yourself transported to the world of Narnia and the vicious and cruel Queen! Who says you have to be Edmund to enjoy this treat?

#18 Lychee Ice Cream Wrapped in Rice Paste

Simply put, this is mochi with a lychee-flavored ice cream filling. Mochi ice cream is a tasty treat that is common in Japan. We have to thank Japanese-American businesswoman and activist Frances Hashimoto for inventing such a flavorful and cool dessert (pun intended).

Image courtesy of funkidredd/Reddit

Japan has some of the most amazing sweets in the world, and eating this small, round confection is the next best thing to living or exploring the country. Vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate are the traditional flavors for mochi, but lychee is quickly becoming a favorite.

#19 Matcha and Taro

Matcha tastes so good that it deserves two spots on this list, and this one is shared with taro. For those who don’t know what taro is, despite the popularity of boba milk tea varieties, it is a root vegetable that’s a staple in Africa, East Asia, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.

Image courtesy of rvbshelia/Reddit

Taro has a purple hue and is quite starchy. Although matcha and taro ice cream are common in Japan (yes, we envy the Japanese), it is a curious flavor to most Westerners; thus, a lot of people have never seen matcha and taro combined in ice cream.

#20 Vanilla and Black Sesame Yin Yang

We love all the quirky and outlandish combinations of ice cream flavors on this list, and we can’t wait to try them all, this one included. Ice cream fanatics who have eaten this say it’s so good, and we are inclined to believe them.

Image courtesy of Big_Black_Cat/Reddit

At first glance, the picture might look like a cat curled up in a jar, but it’s so much more than that. This might be the blackest black sesame we’ve ever seen, but it’s the definition of food porn! Bonus: there is a vegan version.

#21 Marshmallow topped

Yes, please, we want at least two of these! The next entry brings back childhood memories of being around the campfire and roasting marshmallows while telling scary stories. Yup, we’re that old. All this needs is chocolate fudge, and it will be the bomb.

Image courtesy of bearsdidit/Reddit

We know a few people who’d willingly drive for hours just to get this. We know a few people are convinced that this is the only flavor worth trying on this list, but perhaps they are not that open-minded when it comes to ice cream. They’re missing out on all the wonderful flavors out there.

#22 Deviled egg custard with smoked black tea

A lot of people were giddy with excitement when this flavor was launched. Salt and Straw has never shied away from unique flavors, so this one was a welcome addition to its wide array of flavors. Do you think the deviled egg part is an abomination?

Image courtesy of saltandstraw.com

The brave few will say that this is a pleasant surprise. Yes, it has a strong tea flavor, but it’s a bit eggy, so it might not be a good idea for those who dislike a funky aftertaste. Let’s just say this isn’t for the faint of heart.

#23 Pepper

We have a low tolerance for anything spicy, so we’re on the fence on this one. Pepper, ice cream? To us, pepper is only tasty as a seasoning in food and not dessert. But hey, people come up with something new to delight our taste buds every day.

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You can choose between black or white pepper ice cream, and like all of them, this one starts with a sweet and creamy vanilla base. What you get once you dig in is a fiery yet creamy and cool blend. If you consider yourself a daredevil, check out ghost pepper ice cream.

#24 Earl Grey honey

If you think that Earl Grey is only a type of tea, you’re in for a surprise because someone has come up with Earl Grey honey ice cream. True to its name, it tastes just like a cup of earl grey tea with milk and some sugar.

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Earl Grey has been used extensively in desserts, from sponge cakes, cookies, puddings, ice pops, and pies, so it’s only natural that someone decided to try it with ice cream. This sounds interesting, so it’s something we’re looking forward to trying.

#25 Boone Olive Oil Co.’s Black Currant Balsamic and Berry Brie

This ice cream’s name is a mouthful, but we don’t mind tongue-twisting names as long as the flavor is worth it! If you love berries and brie, this is a must-try. A product of the collaboration between Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream and Boone Olive Oil Co.

Image courtesy of sparkyshomemade/Instagram

To create this unique flavor, Boone’s Black Currant Balsamic was mixed in an ice cream base with brie cheese. Next, blackberry jam and even more brie were swirled in. How can you go wrong with that? We’d love to lick this ice cream bowl clean!

#26 Spicy Peanut Butter Curry Coconut

We are familiar with spicy peanut butter curry coconut sauce and have tasted a few versions while traveling Southeast Asia. But this is the first time we are hearing about this ice cream. It sounds delicious, so bring it on!

Image courtesy of sebastianjoes/Instagram

This might appeal to people who love Southeast Asian and South Asian food, but even if you’re not a fan, don’t be afraid to give it a go. It’s when you try something out of your comfort zone that you discover the most amazing things.

#27 Mushroom

Creamy, sweet, and nutrient-dense are some of the words people use to describe mushroom ice cream. However, those who dislike it would describe it as meh. To each his own. What you see in the photo here is mushroom ice cream sold in Asia, but Salt & Straw in the US has its version too.

Image courtesy of foodiary87/Instagram

The company says that its version does not taste like mushrooms at all. Erm, so what’s the point of eating it if it doesn’t taste like mushrooms at all? We’re not sure if that is a bad thing or a good thing. Depends on who you ask.

#28 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

We love Kraft cheese spreads, and one of the best parts of every breakfast is putting a generous amount on our toasted bread. We are also big fans of their macaroni and cheese. Yum! So, this has our interest piqued.

Image courtesy of vanleeuwenicecream.com

What could be better than enjoying refreshing ice cream and macaroni and cheese in the same bowl at the same time? This limited edition ice cream is always out of stock, which says a lot about how good it is.

#29 Caviar

This may be something most people can’t agree on as not everyone loves the taste of fish. IsoCream says that its version is sweet and salty and high in protein. Luxuo has a high-end version that is made with 60% caviar from white sturgeons.

Image courtesy of isocream/Instagram

It reportedly took their specialists 6 months to develop their version, and they say it is best paired with smoked salmon, baked potatoes, or scallops. Oh, it is also the most expensive ice cream in the world and is only shipped within France!

#30 Lavender

An ice cream reminiscent of the lavender fields of Provence should be good enough to eat, right? You betcha! A renowned pastry chef said that lavender is a flavor you need to be careful with because too much of it will make the ice cream taste like soap.

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Well, people are raving about the subtle and light flavor of this ice cream, so we think it should be safe to say that there will be no soap suds when you eat this! For ice cream lovers like us, it is the next best thing to seeing the lavender fields in person.

#31 Caramelized Turkey and Cranberry Sauce

This is one of Salt and Straw’s limited-edition Thanksgiving flavors. It’s a quirky way of enjoying the season’s festivities, even without the iconic turkey on your table. How do they make this? Turkey bacon is roasted to a crisp and tucked into a buttery brittle with cubeb pepper and thyme.

Image courtesy of saltandstraw/Instagram

Does that sound like something you would like to feast on during Thanksgiving? We are not big fans of turkey, so we might just have to pass on this one. Life is too short to eat ice cream you don’t like, right?

#32 Coffee Garlic Herb Almond Chip

We’re not sure if those who have caffeine in their systems instead of blood are going to love this because there seem to be too many things going on here. The person who came up with this couldn’t decide what they wanted!

Image courtesy of maxandminas/Instagram

We like coffee and almond chip, but we’re unsure if they would taste great when combined with garlic. Since we’re not trying to fend off Dracula, we’re not that keen on ice cream with garlic. If they took away the herbs and garlic, it would have a fighting chance.

#33 Margherita pizza

We love pizza and are forever grateful that Italians invented such a tasty delicacy. Though there might be a lot of debate going on about what should be allowed as toppings, we love pizza nonetheless. But Margherita pizza ice cream?

Image courtesy of sparkyshomemade/Instagram

Thankfully, this didn’t catch on because it would be an upfront to real pizza. All the same, props to whoever made this for experimenting. If nobody is courageous enough to try outrageous things, we wouldn’t have those weird yet yummy ice cream flavors we all love.

#34 Ranch

This looks just like regular ice cream. It’s cold and creamy and comes in the usual packaging. However, it smells and tastes exactly like ranch dressing. It has notes of vanilla and the familiar dill flavor. Did Hidden Valley Ranch just invent the next best thing?

Image courtesy of vanleeuwenicecream/Instagram

The ranch is out of the bag and is making its way to your ice cream cups. Interestingly, this weird ice cream flavor is not the first by Van Leeuwen. The company is also responsible for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ice cream, which also made it on this list.

#35 Beet

Beet is considered somewhat of a healthy food, and although we’ve tasted beet juice before, we haven’t tried any dessert made from beet. This might just change our minds because it looks absolutely delectable! Plus, we love the color. We are big fans of purple and its different shades.

Image courtesy of icecreamlab/Instagram

If you’re ever in NYC, you might want to look this ice cream shop up if you fancy sinking your teeth into this healthy goodness. The name of the shop is Ice Cream Lab. Is this something you’d try, or does the color put you off?

#36 Nacho Nacho

Nachos and ice cream, you say? Well, that’s nothing but pure magic. There’s more than one version of this, and all of them look good enough to eat. What better way to cool down on a hot summer day than with ice cream and nachos? You don’t even need a spoon to enjoy this.

Image courtesy of nannos.bakery.wlb/Instagram

This is not a new flavor per se, but an innovative way of serving ice cream. Just get your favorite flavors, some tortilla chips, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a variety of toppings and sauces. Mix the cinnamon and sugar, and pour it over the tortilla chips, then use the chips to scoop ice cream.

#37 Honey Jalapeño Pickle

We won’t judge you if you’re pregnant and fancy this. After all, that’s the only time in life when you’re allowed to eat as many weird foods as possible. Yes, we’re all in for trying something new and unconventional, but we’re not eager to give this a lick.

Image courtesy of sweetactionicecream/Instagram

This flavor is only released once per summer, so if you’re keen to try it, better mark your calendars. Once tagged Colorado’s weirdest ice cream flavor, folks say it’s weird but tastes amazing. We agree with the weird part, but we’re not sure about amazing.

#38 Ube and avocado ice cream

Ube in Filipino, or purple yam, is ubiquitous in Southeast Asia. You see it in their desserts, and it has a slightly nutty, vanilla taste. Some people may balk at the color but trust us when we say that it’s damn good!

Image courtesy of ExquisiteSmells/Reddit

How can ube get even better? When it’s in ice cream form and is eaten with avocado ice cream. Everyone knows avocado; it’s a fruit that needs no introduction. How can you top ube and avocado ice cream? By serving them in a Hong Kong waffle. Dayum!

#39 Earl grey milk tea ice cream with boba pearls

Boba is something that we thank the world for every single day. We love it with our milk teas, and we can’t think of having tea any other way. This soft-serve ice cream is what milk tea lovers dream of.

Image courtesy of 17-03/Reddit

Anything can be made better with Boba, and this is excellent proof of that. This is a fantastic example of how a marriage between two foods can delight your taste buds to no end. We wonder what they’re going to come up with next!

#40 Idaho Cream Potato

At this point, no ice cream flavor will surprise us. We’ve seen Wasabi and Salmon ice cream, so why not throw potatoes into the mix? Idaho leads the US in potato production, so it’s no wonder that they came up with an ice cream that features their most famous produce.

Image courtesy of westsidedrivein.com

There’s some debate as to who made the ice cream first, but many agree that Westside Drive-In is the home of the original potato ice cream. Their chef has spent 4 decades tweaking the recipe to perfection at the beloved local institutions.

#41 Rosemary

We’re game for this. The first thing we think of when rosemary is mentioned is chicken seasoning, but we are definitely willing to try this. Someone who’s tasted this said it was amazing, and we are inclined to believe that.

Image courtesy of twodognightcreamery/Instagram

It has a sweet vanilla base and is infused with just the right amount of fresh rosemary. Vegetarians can rejoice because not only is this gluten-free, but it’s also suitable for them. Those who want a dairy-free version can also find numerous recipes online if they fancy making it themselves.

#42 Creamy wisteria

Wisteria is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to Korea, Japan, and the eastern United States. Its distinct blue-to-purple flowers look spectacular hanging from a pergola, which is why when we get our own property, we plan on planting Wisterias.

Image courtesy of deiroxy/Reddit

It goes without saying that this is a creamy and cold dessert we’d love. Aside from the beautiful color, it has a taste that’s described as subtle and floral. It’s refreshing and delicious, just like rose water ice cream. Okay, you got us!

#43 Salted cinnamon ice cream

Cinnamon has come a long way since its discovery thousands of years ago. It has found its way into meals, baked goods, and of course, ice cream. We have a place in our hearts for cinnamon, and our hearts skip a beat whenever we’re feasting on the creamy goodness that has cinnamon.

Image courtesy of underthepeachmoon/Reddit

Salted cinnamon ice cream can be enjoyed on its own or with pie and caramel sauce. If you have an ice cream maker, you can easily make this at home and enjoy it with family and friends since all it requires is 6 ingredients.

#44 Sesame gelato with miso, caramel, cookies, and ramen

We’ve heard about black sesame cookies and vanilla ice cream, but this is the first time we’re hearing about miso and ramen in our creamy and cold treat. We like our ramen and miso, but we don’t like it mixed into our desserts.

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Sometimes, we marvel at all the new flavors people come up with. We may not like all of these strange tastes, but ice cream tasters deserve a pat on the back for their curiosity and commitment to making customers happy.

#45 Churro Ice Cream Sandwich with Horchata

Churro is already a winner in our books but a churro ice cream sandwich? We’d forget our diet for this. How can you say no to something crispy and something creamy and cold? For those who aren’t acquainted with Horchata yet, it is a cold milky beverage that has a smooth, creamy cinnamon taste.

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Like most ice cream, this flavor has a rich base mixed with brown rice flour, sea salt, and cinnamon. This is a must-try for all #churroholics out there. Yes, there’s such a thing. Out of all the pairings on this list, this is definitely among our top 3.