Tourist Tip #45 / Unusual Ice Cream Flavors

Hummus. It’s a spread, a dip and … an ice cream? Here’s the scoop on some of the more unusual flavors you can find in Israel’s glideriot, or ice cream parlors.

Boutique-style ice cream parlors have sprung up over the country, offering rather creative interpretations of the popular dessert. Alongside classic flavors you’re also likely to find versions that use local ingredients, like red grapefruit with anise liquor, or passion fruit sorbet. But that's just the tip of the odd ice cream iceberg.

For starters, there’s now hummus-flavored ice cream. Yes, that popular spread made from chickpeas, tahini paste and olive oil, can now be found in frozen form at an ice cream parlor in Jaffa, where it’s topped with pine nuts and a light drizzle of olive oil. Some places have been known to offer eggplant ice cream – but if sorbet’s more your thing, why not try cucumber, or a refreshing cup of carrot and orange?

But if the sound of those has you recoiling in disgust rather than reaching eagerly for a spoon, you can also try some other unconventional choices, such as halva, based on the popular sweet made out of sesame seeds and honey, or chai – named after the Indian mixed spice tea. In fact, spices feature prominently in Israeli glideriot, adding an exotic touch to combinations such as chocolate and cardamom and vanilla and star anise. You can even add a tingle of heat to your frozen dessert with a scoop of chocolate and chili.

If you have a sweet tooth, why not try an ice-cold adaptation of the Krembo – the confectionary classic made from a chocolate coated marshmallow with a biscuit base. Another popular flavor is mastik – chewing gum – sometimes also called Bazooka. You can even get a “birthday cake” style chocolate ice cream that’s covered in sprinkles.

Another popular (and very tasty) treat is frozen yogurt, which you’ll notice is rather different from the American version. Find out why in tomorrow’s Tourist Tip.