Baskin Robbins may offer everything from Butterscotch Ribbon to Pineapple Sherbet, but their 36 Flavors has nothing on Japan.
Flavors on the menu at some Japanese tourist spots include dried shrimp, cow tongue, salad with cucumber chunks, and even viper. Deliciousssssssssssssss.
Kotaku has rounded-up some of the strangest Japanese ice cream flavors that make Momofuku Milk Bar’s cereal milk ice cream seem like amateur hour. While Japan, like the U.S., generally prefers simple flavors like vanilla or green tea, according to Kotaku, there are plenty of small manufacturers that make so-called “novelty ice cream” (変わり種アイス) or “strange ice cream” (奇妙なアイスクリーム), which include flavors like eel, beer, shark fin and fried oyster.
Artisanal ice cream makers in the U.S. concoct unique flavors, too — like Salt & Straw’s honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper and candy cap mushroom with port red wine or Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream’s goat cheese with Cognac fig sauce— but they tend to be on the dessert spectrum. However, when it comes to Japan’s novelty flavors, they are far outside the usual dessert palate. Think: octopus with soy sauce (with real octopus chunks!), slow-boiled egg, raw horse meat, grilled eggplant and natto (that’s fermented soy bean, and Kotaku has photos). There’s even chicken wing ice cream, which, given the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, maybe does not sound like such a bizarre idea after all.