Given that Jamaican ice cream is so focused on tropical fruits, it sometimes comes as a surprise to learn that the “grapenut” flavor is not based on some sweet, exotic orb grown in the Caribbean. It’s made with Post Grape-Nuts. Really.
“We all grow up with Grape-Nut and rum raisin ice cream,” says Calver “Cal” Headley, owner of York Castle Tropical Ice Cream in Rockville. As a young boy in Mandeville, Jamaica, Headley ate those famous whole-grain nuggets only as part of the creamy dessert. So did the entire island nation, he suggests.
“You only use it for ice cream, not as a cereal,” Headley says.
Jamaicans aren’t the only ones who like the cereal mixed with ice cream. Those who live in New England and the Canadian Maritimes have a history of spooning down Grape-Nuts ice cream. It’s not clear how or when the combination started, and a representative with Post Foods did not immediately return a call for answers.