No one is “meh” on mayonnaise, the most contentious condiment. You either want it glopped all over your potato salad, spread on your sandwich bread, put in your coleslaw and lobster rolls and deviled eggs and everything else, or you want to invent a time machine so you can go back to 1756 to thwart the chef of the Duke de Richelieu, who was said to have invented the sauce in his boss’s honor that year.
If you fall into the former camp: Good news! There is mayonnaise-flavored ice cream now. If you fall into the latter camp: I wish you the best of luck carrying on with your life knowing that you live in a world where there is mayo-flavored ice cream.
The blessed/wretched flavor is the work of Ice, an ice cream shop in Falkirk, Scotland. It’s known for other wacky flavors, including Monster Energy Drink and Strongbow cider. And, no surprise, it has inspired strong reactions.
It’s probably not even the weirdest ice cream flavor out there. There is squid ink ice cream (Travel & Leisure dubbed it “surprisingly delicious”). A Delaware ice cream shop sells ghost pepper ice cream, and you have to sign a waiver before you can eat it. You’ll find lobster ice cream in Maine, and Cheetos-inspired soft-serve in New York. An Irish ice cream shop made ketchup-flavored ice cream as some kind of weird tribute to the singer Ed Sheeran. Foie gras ice cream has popped up in a number of fancy restaurants. And let us not forget the scandal that was breast milk ice cream, also from a British company. (What are they doing over there?)
So, by comparison, mayo ice cream seems relatively bland. And it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that in the escalating arms race within the world of weird ice cream flavors, mayonnaise would eventually get its turn. Especially in the United Kingdom: They really love their mayo over there. The condiment outsells ketchup. There’s also salad cream, which is a slightly thinner and less eggy version of mayonnaise, and is a traditional bottled condiment in Great Britain. And, potentially, the next big frozen treat.
What’s next: Beans on toast ice cream? Blood sausage ice cream? HP Sauce ice cream? But this is a glass house at which we, the nation that invented the KFC Double Down, should not throw stones.
Besides, it’s probably not as bad as it sounds. Semi-savory ice creams can be great — ever tried olive oil ice cream? — and here, the context is everything. If it had been called aioli ice cream, and presented as part of a 17-course tasting menu at a molecular gastronomy restaurant, the chef would probably be praised for his creativity. Instead, it’s gone viral on Twitter with a picture of a squeeze bottle of Hellmann’s plunked in there, which is part of the reason it’s giving people such a visceral reaction.
The shop’s owner, Kyle Gentleman, told the “Today” show that the flavor is a “full-on hit of fat and cream followed with an eggy, milky aftertaste.” We’re guessing it’s probably a semisweet, neutral cream flavor. So, don’t be too grossed out. Until they mix it with the ketchup ice cream and add some pickle relish and call it Thousand Island ice cream.
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