Ice cream has quite literally been around for thousands of years, the first recorded version popping up in 618-97AD in China and made from buffalo milk, camphor, and flour. In recent years, ice cream is more popular than ever. It is the perfect treat to cool off with on a hot day, and it’s great for pairing with other types of dessert.
Part of what makes ice cream so great is just how versatile it is, in terms of flavor, texture, mixture, process, and design. The possibilities are endless!
Specialty ice cream shops are digging into this possibility, creating some amazing ice cream products. Keep reading to find about some of the hottest ice cream trends that you have to try.
Top 7 Ice Cream Trends
1. Creative Flavors
Vanilla still tops the charts as the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States. It’s a classic flavor that can complement practically anything, so it’s heavily used in baking and for pairing with other desserts.
Unique and fun ice cream flavors are becoming increasingly common, however. Many ice cream shops are making their mark by providing fresh flavors made straight in the store. Some popular eclectic flavors include earl grey, lavender, french toast, sage, basil, short bread, and spicy caramel. Non-traditional flavors are also gaining popularity, such as pickle, popcorn, avocado, and more.
One of favorite new flavors is cereal milk. This ice cream is made by steeping cereal in milk and then using the strained milk to make it. The possible flavors with this alone are numerous, though some popular choices tend to be Cap’n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles.
2. Alcoholic Ice Cream
Alcoholic ice cream is becoming increasingly popular among the over-21 crowd. Such creations include wine sorbets as well as beer and bourbon flavored ice creams. These ice creams are made from real alcohol and, depending on the quantities that different establishments use, can certainly give you a buzz. Now you can combine two of life’s greatest joys into one.
3. Nitrogen Ice Cream
Nitrogen ice cream shops have recently become a trending establishment and somewhat of a novelty. This ice cream is popular and fun because it’s made just for you—liquid nitrogen is used to almost instantly freeze and create your ice cream.
4. Rolled Ice Cream
Rolled ice cream shops are another form of novelty. This ice cream is made right in front of you and provides a visual experience. After placing your order, an employee will pour the milk and other ingredients onto a cold metallic circular surface. As you watch, they will mix the ingredients around together on the surface until they are sufficiently frozen.
Once frozen, the employee will then use a tool to scrape the ice cream off the surface, creating a series of beautiful and mouthwatering rolls of ice cream created fresh for you.
5. Deluxe Ice Cream Sandwiches
With the rising quality and creativity of ice cream comes an increase in ice cream sandwiches. Ice cream sandwich shops have become increasingly popular, where you not only get to select your flavor of ice cream but the fresh-baked cookies to serve as the top and bottom. These shops often allow you to coat the sides of the ice cream with sprinkles, cookie crumbles, or other toppings.
6. Alternative Ingredients
With a rise in veganism and other health trends, ice cream has had to adapt, too. Many establishments are now offering ice cream made from alternative, all-natural ingredients. This is especially the case with milk. Rather than traditional cow’s milk, it is now not uncommon to find ice cream made with soy milk, almond milk, or, most popularly, coconut milk.
7. International Inspiration
Internationally-inspired versions of ice cream are making waves across the United States. Perhaps the most popular and widespread is mochi ice cream, though other trends are rapidly appearing. These include Indian Kulfi, Mexican Nieves De Garrafa, and Persian Bastani.
Where to Find These Ice Cream Trends
For some of these trends, such as some of the international types of ice cream, you need to travel to more culturally-diverse cities like New York in order to experience them. For others, such as rolled and nitrogen ice cream, you can probably find one of these shops in the nearest mid-sized city malls or boutique ice cream parlors.
Be sure to check your local listings on where to find all these delicious and refreshing types of ice cream that give new life to the classic dessert.