gothic ice cream

ice creamBlogs are a great way of sharing 'spur of the moment' ideas and thoughts on a subject which is why I'm so grateful for my Blog Of Ice Cream. There are recipes, photographs and all manner of anecdotes on there for anyone interested in the subject.


Japanese Ice Cream

Why write about Japanese ice cream?
First of all we need to recognise that every country has its own culture, its own heritage of tastes and traditions. Having visited Japan myself I understand just how different it is to my own country of birth, England - and I love it! I found Japan to be a fascinating country with a unique cultural heritage, a work ethic unlike any other, a climate and landscape that has to be experienced first hand to be appreciated alongside ... a unique taste in food. The food I ate whilst in Japan was delicious - I had never imagined that fried seaweed could be so tasty but a good tempura bar will set you straight on that!

So what could be different about Japanese ice cream? Well, the clue is in two things:

1. The fact that Japanese people enjoy strange and unusual tastes in food. So they are willing to try something new, even extreme without much fear or hesitation.

2. The fact that there are many local 'delicacies' of food in Japan - unusual types of seafood and meat for example. So it is natural to try and introduce these as ingredients into other foods, ice cream being no exception.

The result is that ice cream producers in Japan are more than happy to oblige and offer some truly weird and wonderful ice cream flavours!

So what unusual ice cream flavors are available in Japan?
There are many unusual flavors of ice cream available in Japan. Here are just a few I understand to have been offered by commercial ice cream producers::

  • Octopus ice cream
  • Prawn ice cream
  • Oyster ice cream
  • Crab ice cream
  • Shark fin noodle ice cream
  • Seaweed ice cream
  • Pearl ice cream (made using fine slices of pearl from Japan's pearl-growing region)
  • Squid ice cream
  • Beef tongue ice cream
  • Raw horseflesh ice cream
  • Goat ice cream
  • Chicken wing ice cream
  • Cactus ice cream
  • Soy sauce ice cream
  • Fried eggplant ice cream
  • Beer ice cream
  • Curry ice cream
  • Cheese ice cream
  • Spinach ice cream
  • Dracula ice cream (made with garlic of course!) *
  • Viagra ice cream

* Dracula ice cream sounds simply wonderful! The closest I have come to anything similar is my own special recipe for what I call Gothic ice cream - a wonderful cloudy, grey ice cream with a smooth, almost sticky texture made using licorice toffee. It makes for a wonderfully 'gothic' dessert when served with strands of black licorice!

Yokohama Ice Cream Festival
In 2008 the Japanese city of Yokohama held a special, two week festival to celebrate the arrival of ice cream in their country 130 years before. The country's ice cream producers did not let the festival visitors down and offered some of the most exotic and unusual ice cream flavors ever created. These included eel ice cream, curry ice cream, beer ice cream and crab ice cream to name but a few of the 125 ice cream varieties that were available at the festival. A garlic ice cream named "Dracula Premuim" was apparently a big favorite!

Exotic 'British' Ice Cream
In 2008 master gelatiere Gino Soldan created some wonderfully unusual ice cream recipes based on traditional British foods - Wensleydale cheese ice cream, Yorkshire Pudding ice cream, Sausage & Mash ice cream and many more! Click here to read my exclusive interview with this master ice cream maker.