Apparently, there’s a market around the world for almost anything mixed with cream and sugar.
I thought Bubble Gum and Cotton Candy flavors were icky enough, but vendors are outdoing themselves with even more bizarre blends. Gone is the day when ordering Tiramisu was considered avant garde.
Flavors Both Good and Grim
Now you can get such extreme ice creams as: Candied Bacon, Bourbon Cornflake, Curried Carrot, Beer, Pizza, Fennel, and Prosciutto.
Some upscale ice cream parlors even incorporate herbal remedies. Teas and edible flowers produce Lavender, Saffron, and Rose Petal flavors.
In Italy they serve a Spaghetti and Cheese variety—well, why not? In Venezuela you can get Artichoke.
Try India and Japan for a number of fish flavors—including Eel, Octopus, Whale, and Shark Fin, as well as such vegetable delights as Eggplant, Sweet Potato, and Squash.
St. Louis Ice Cream Hot Spots
I’ve not made an exhaustive search of the city’s ice cream emporiums, but I have slurped a cone, or two, at the following places. ( I didn’t eat all these delicacies during one season, mind you. I’ve enjoyed them over time.)
Six of my favorite shops are shown here in no particular order.
1. Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery
When I think of the word Clementine, it usually brings to mind a hybrid orange, Winston Churchill’s wife, or the hard-luck Western ballad by the same name. But no more!
What spring to mind now is Clementine’s ice cream located in Clayton’s Demun neighborhood. (There are others in the Greater St. Louis Area, including one near Lafayette Square.)
The tidy creamery lays claim to being the only all-natural micro-creamery in the state—there are only 14 in the nation. They have 24 flavors: 8 “naughty” (or boozy) and 16 “nice”. Take a look, too, for their vegan and non-dairy options.
So what does micro-creamy mean? They can trace all their ingredients to a natural source.
So if you feel guilty downing a hefty cone of this sweet, creamy goodness, take consolation in knowing that Clementine’s uses only natural products—no dyes, artificial flavor, fillers, or stabilizers.
2. Ices Plain & Fancy
This ice cream is flash-churned at -321 degrees, forming small ice crystal with a smooth, silky texture unlike traditional slow-churn methods.
Jeni’s doesn’t use synthetic flavorings, dyes, or off-the-shelf mixes. There’s no long list of stabilizers and emulsifiers on their label. Their 35, or more, flavored ice creams are made in Ohio and dispensed in Scoop Shops across the country.
4. Fountain on Locust
5. Ted Drewes
Nothing says St. Louis like Ted Drewes’ frozen custard, except maybe toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake. Founded in 1930, TD’s creamy concoctions are served at their two locations in the city: one on Chippewa and the other on South Grand.
6. Crown Candy
I’m Running a Summer-Long Experiment
I need to verify a statistic I read recently. According to one dairy investigator, it takes 50 licks, on the average, to finish an ice cream cone. That sounds like a finding that needs further verification, which I am glad to provide.
Any such study will require me to run a summer-long experiment with ice creams of different flavors, in cones of diverse sizes, and on days of varying temperatures to achieve the most reliable results. It’s an assignment I’m willing to take on in the interest of science.
For now the only thing I know for certain is that you can blend most anything with cream and sugar and pass it off as ice cream.