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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Here's the Scoop

July is National Ice Cream Month. In celebration, here’s the scoop on some of the world’s oddest ice cream flavors. Check them out next time you are on the road and report back.

Venezuela, England and Japan seem to take the cake when it comes to alien ice cream additives. Let’s start at the Heladería Coromoto in Mérida, Venezuela. The shop tops the Guinness List of World Records in the category of most ice cream flavors (nearly 1000 served, albeit not all at the same time). The ice cream makers there have a tendency to throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Ingredients like corn, ham and cheese, tuna, and chile have peppered the menu over the years. But the flavor that gets the biggest rise out of customers is Viagra. While the actual drug is not an ingredient, the little blue scoop does stand proudly erect atop the cone. Plus, it is reported that Viagra ice cream does contain plant aphrodisiacs. Olé.

Next, it’s off to Jolly Olde England, where sheep’s stomach ice cream is served at Harrods in London. Yum, yum. If that doesn‘t curdle your own stomach, travel on to Tokyo’s Sunshine City Shopping Mall, where Ice Cream City has a menu containing flavors such as octopus, snake, horse flesh and cow’s tongue.

In comparison, our "ususual" flavors here in the United States seem rather tame. Sure, bacon, garlic, lavender and beer ice creams aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they aren't that far off the flavor map. That's because the American ice cream palate isn't all that adventurous. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the top five flavors in terms of market share in the United States are vanilla (30%); chocolate (10%); butter pecan (4%); strawberry (3.7%); and chocolate chip mint (3.2%).

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