It used to be that 36 flavors was something to brag about. But the days when rocky road starred in a three-dozen flavor line-up have long passed.
Now, ice cream shops worldwide boast long lists of wonderfully unusual flavors.
On the U.S. east coast Boston-area’s Toscanini’s features wort and Guiness ice cream, and on the west coast Bellingham, WA’s Mallard’s makes flavors such as earl grey tea and black pepper. London’s Chin Chin Labs claims to be Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor and Bar Ciao (in Channing Cross) strives to make ice cream dishes that look like other food — such as asparagus or sunny-side up fried eggs. Beef tongue, charcoal, cactus and octopus top the unusual flavors to be found in Japan. To be sure, there are many others experimenting in the art of creative cold concoctions that take us far beyond a round scoop of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.
But to choose from the widest variety of all, you’ll need to head to Merida, Venezuela.
There, the Heladeria Coromoto ice cream shop has sold scoops in nearly 1000 (!) flavors† and counting, placing it in the Guinness Book of World Records. At a flavor a day, it would take you more than two years to test every one of the 32-year-old parlor’s homemade offerings. But at less than US$1 for a double scoop, the number of flavors in your cup is likely to be limited more by your gastronomic sense of adventure than your wallet.
Perhaps as striking as the sheer number are the selections themselves, which draw from common foods (cheddar cheese) and items usually found on dinner menus. Beef ice cream, anyone? The exotic flavors — which are rotated seasonally — include spaghetti & cheese (see pic to the right), chili, cream of crab, onion, cognac, corn (both sweet and regular), vodka lime, tequila, smoked trout, wine & mushrooms, hamburger, cheeseburger, rice, carrots, Viagra (?), tomato, oatmeal, cola, bacon & eggs, Smurf‡, black bean, horseradish, cabbage, mustard, thyme, olives, fried pork rind and — the flavor that started it all — avocado. Our favorite flavor? Sardines and brandy.
Many people think of ice cream as a purely summertime treat, but with so many flavors to choose from, a cone at Heladeria Coromoto is always a bit of an adventure. It also makes for an ideal babymoon location for expecting women who crave ice cream and pickles. Because at Heladeria Coromoto, pickles are an ice cream flavor too.
† Though only between 60 and 100 flavors are available on any given day.
‡ No specific Smurf is listed; we hope it isn’t Worker.
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