Screw vanilla, chocolate or strawberry! Why eat such bland flavours when you could be enjoying beer or smoked mackerel flavoured ice cream?
We’ve teamed up with Lithuania Travel to bring you 12 of the weirdest ice cream flavours that are actually sold across the country. Normally when we think of ice cream we go to the classics; vanilla, chocolate and even cookies & cream but have you ever yearned for quark and nettle ice cream? Neither have we – until now!
1. Pine needle ice cream. Pine needles have been long known as a source of vitamin C. According to health specialists, pine needles improve the immune system, strengthen the body, and slow down aging. Freshly harvested pine needles, sugar powder, and cream are the main ingredients of this delight. This unusual combination smells just like a Christmas tree.
2. Peony ice cream. Peony flowers are not just beautiful. Apparently, they can also be delicious. The founders of the Labanoras restaurant tell us that these are made from petal syrup mixed with cream. The petals turn the ice cream pink and make it smell like perfume.
3. Carrot ice cream. As carrots are quite sweet, they are often used in cakes, puddings, and pancakes. According to food historians, the use of carrots as sweeteners dates back to the First World War, when a sugar deficit was felt. When preparing this ice cream, chefs soak carrots in maple syrup, which gives them an excellent caramel aftertaste.
4. Rhubarb ice cream. Wonder what Lithuanian childhood tastes like? Rhubarb! Now available in ice cream form. Fresh rhubarb is rich in vitamins C, P, and K. Rhubarb ice cream also contains leaves, sugar, water, orange peel, ginger, and salt.
5. Beetroot ice cream. Beetroot is a healthy choice, which can be used not only in main dishes and smoothies but also in various cakes and cupcakes. This beetroot dessert has a deep, earthy aroma, marvelous purple colour, and goes well with dark chocolate.
6. Lavender ice cream. Natural ice cream made from flowers without additives is probably the best choice for dessert lovers promoting a healthy lifestyle. Lavender petals are soaked overnight in vanilla ice cream to reveal the aroma. The taste is breath-taking!
7. Quark and nettle ice cream. While the combination of quark and stinging nettle may sound strange, ice cream from these ingredients is delicious, fresh, reminiscent of green tea, and healthy. Nutritionists say that nettle is rich in vitamins, but if nettle soup (delicious by the way) does not rock your boat, ice cream might be a better choice.
8. Linden honey and dill oil ice cream. Although dill is commonly used as a spice, according to the kitchen chef of the Velvetti restaurant in southern Lithuania, dill oil balances the sweetness of the honey, and gives the dessert a savoury quality.
9. Seaweed and caviar ice cream. Seaweed and caviar ice cream – a treat for those looking for something exotic. More of a snack than a dessert, trying it is a must if you happen to visit the Lithuanian seacoast. The taste is reminiscent of sushi.
10. Spinach and tarragon ice cream. For veggie lovers, spinach and tarragon ice cream will be a great alternative to a smoothie. Spinach is considered one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, and its combination with tarragon will pleasantly surprise you.
11. Beer ice cream. The Lithuanian Beer Academy, which cherishes long-standing beer traditions, offers to taste beer flavoured ice cream! According to the ice cream chef, only dark beer is used for production because of his strong caramel aftertaste. To ensure sweetness, they also use sugar and lemon juice. Chips and beer ice cream – looks like we have a new sauna package combination!
12. Smoked mackerel ice cream. It seems like ice cream could be boldly called a real detective! Why? The Chef at Apvalaus Stalo Klubas restaurant keeps the recipe of smoked mackerel ice cream secret. However, this is the perfect reason to come and taste. The fish lovers will be impressed!
There are so many more flavours available around Lithuania too. Flavours such as Black Bread and Jerusalem Artichoke that just didn’t make it to our list. You can see them all here and there’s a handy map on where to find them too.