Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"They Actually Eat That:" Japan and Soft Serve Ice Cream.

While in Quebec, there was certainly plenty of weird food to pick on. They had pate of elk and bison. Among my finds was maple syrup soft serve ice cream, located alongside maple syrup everything else. Not only was it delicious, but it brought back memories of Japan, of all places.

If China is the nation that eats everything, Japan is the nation that puts everything in ice cream. Specifically, they love soft-serve ice cream - and when I say love, I mean 大好きです!Yes, they are so fond of soft-serve ice cream in particular that "soft cream" has its own holiday. It has a million flavors to choose from, but a few of them are definitely only in Japan.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not hate any of the flavors presented below. In fact, I have tried quite a few of them and have to admit that Japan may be onto something. Soft serve in Japan is a very happy memory for me. Even the cheap flavors in the kiosks work quite well. Behold: vanilla, sweet potato, and green tea soft serve!

Source, but these are not hard to find.

Weird though some of the flavors may be, Japan knows what it is doing when it comes to ice cream. Most of the mixes they make actually taste good. Green tea, for example, is actually not bad mixed with cream and vanilla; think a green tea Frappucino in ice cream form. Even flavors like scallop can be pretty good. Yes, you read that right: scallop-flavored ice cream.

The source says it's pretty good, too.

There may actually be a reason beyond weird for these ice cream flavors, however. Often, these "weird" flavors pop up in rural areas. Local flavors of whatever suddenly become local flavors of ice cream as a sort of advertising for tourists. This accumulation of weird flavors in the countryside is very true; my trip to Iwakuni yielded an ice cream shop with 99 flavors, among other things.

Unlike some things that Japan does, I hope this catches on. It's harmless, delicious, and helps support local businesses. Please don't make ice cream out of Chicago deep dish or hot dogs, though. Just make a Garrett's soft serve blend with bits of popcorn in and all will be well. I'd totally buy that- hint hint.

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