The beet is the most intense of vegetables.

A while back I was strolling through the Durham Farmers’ Market and got gifted a bunch (well, quite a few bunches) of beets from Lil’ Farm. We decided to make a test batch, since we’d heard of other folks making beet ice cream:

We started with a Thomas Keller recipe, and churned it in our home ice cream maker. The first batch was delicious, so we decided to tweak the recipe a bit and make a batch to sell! Our beet ice cream is mostly beet, with just a bit of orange and some vanilla bean paste. We’re not trying to hide the flavor; as Tom Robbins said, “Beets are deadly serious.”

What’s the strangest ice cream flavor you’ve tasted or made? Did you like it? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll pick a random winner to receive a pint of the beet ice cream!

19 replies
  1. Cait Hawley says:

    When I worked at Coldstone Creamery in college, they offered a Wasabi Ginger flavor. It was NOT to my liking, but I guess I could kind of see the appeal. Ginger, yes. Wasabi, not so much. Maybe you all can do better 🙂

  2. Jeff Shaw says:

    Rose flavored ice cream. I was skeptical, but it’s mild and light and delectable.

  3. Holly B (@hkbabel) says:

    That would be “egg” ice cream. Culinarily-challenged housemate dumped shelled but whole raw eggs into a theoretical vanilla ice cream base & commenced freezing. Whole frozen yolks dotted the final product. No, I did not like it. Cats did not like it. No one liked it. 😉

  4. Liz says:

    I tried sweet potato ice cream once. It was very pretty, but a little more subtle than I would’ve liked. You guys could probably rock it, though. (Plus, it’s the North Carolina state vegetable!)

  5. allison says:

    I always find savory ice cream a little weird. It’s hard to look at ice cream and not expect it to be sweet and then have that weird moment when it isn’t. I have tried basil and strawberry balsalmic. Not ice cream per se, but the black pepper locopop is also kinda strange. And before bacon was in everything, chocolate bacon.

  6. kris says:

    I had “Secret Breakfast” at Humphrey Slocombe in SF which was basically bourbon and cornflakes. I loved it. Also had salt & pepper there, too. It was good. Love the weird flavors; more please!

  7. Jamie says:

    Jalepeno ice cream at the Pepper Festival in Chatham County last year. It was actually really good! I was surprised that I liked it!

  8. meg says:

    Probably the maple bacon ice cream at Ultimate Ice Cream in Asheville, who served it waaaay before bacon was as ubiquitous as it is today!

  9. Beth says:

    I worked at an ice cream parlor in Connecticut in the mid-90s. It was one of (at the time) 4 shops, but as CT is a small state, it was a relatively small production.

    Anyway, the owners must have loved Oreos, because they were in everything: coffee oreo (yum!), chocolate mint oreo, black raspberry oreo, chocolate oreo, regular oreo… I just looked at their website, and in the years that have passed, it seems that they’ve added a banana oreo and a coconut oreo.

    Anyway, all of them were great–it turns out oreos go with everything–but they weren’t my favorite.

    My favorite flavor that they made was cinnamon. It doesn’t sound too strange, but honestly, I’ve never had other cinnamon ice cream like it anywhere. The rare occasion I’ve found it, it has been that icky fake cinnamon flavor with the horrid red food coloring. That cinnamon ice went better with apple pie than any other ice cream I’ve ever had.

    I love your ice cream, though, and love beets 🙂

  10. margaret says:

    I’m a big fan of avocado gelato, although it is not generally thought of as associating with sweets.

  11. Cassie says:

    Coriander goat cheese with strawberry swirl from last week…and I loved it!! Excited to try the beet flavor

  12. Melissa says:

    Parsley flavor. It was a raw vegan ice-cream experiment at Quintessence restaurant in Manhattan. Refreshing but I couldn’t eat a whole serving. Maybe if they had added peppermint with the parsley?

  13. Mr. Parlour says:

    Thanks for the comments, y’all! We’ll be cutting it off here! In the next day or so we’ll put your names in a hat and figure out who gets the pint of beet! And we may be back to reply to some of your comments if we have a minute!

  14. Mr. Parlour says:

    Y’know, I actually was going to write all the names down and put them in a physical hat, but I couldn’t find my favorite hat. So I randomized them in a spreadsheet instead. Jenna, you win the pint! Since it’s in a new batch that needs to harden, we won’t have it tomorrow, but you can pick it up from us anytime we’re out after that. Check the schedule for details. And don’t worry, we’ll e-mail you a secret passphrase so people don’t show up just pretending to be Jenna.

  15. Mr. Parlour says:

    And to follow up…
    Liz: We’ve made sweet potato! It’s in the running for my favorite flavor. We had it last fall and early this year, and it’ll certainly be back in the rotation.
    Beth: We’ve made cinnamon! We use malted milk powder in it and title it Malted Cinnamon. It’s been pretty popular whenever it’s on the menu, so it’ll be back, probably sooner than Sweet Potato. I recommend it in a Coke float.
    margaret: We made a vegan avocado flavor with coconut milk as the base. I’ll admit, neither Mrs. Parlour nor I were big fans, so we probably won’t do it again in that form. But we’ve been intending to bring it back in a dairy version, because we’ve each had a good avocado milkshake elsewhere!
    Holly: Eww. Gross. 🙂

  16. Joanna says:

    We made tobacco ice cream a couple weeks ago and it was delicious! And tingly! And I kind of want more …
    Seriously, though, it’s excellent. It’s basically sweet cream infused very lightly with pipe tobacco and it is very yummy.

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