We don't have to tell you that most people looking to sink their tastebuds into something creamy, cool and smooth probably won't gravitate towards a stick of butter or seared foie gras, but what happens when you're faced with such flavors on a dessert menu? Do you show your adventurous side and go for it -- or do you skip it and head for the nearest safe place, ala Baskin Robbins? Don't ask us why, but we said, "hell, yes!" to some of the city's most disgusting ice cream flavors to see if they really do taste as bad as they sound.
Here's the scoop on the Top 5 grossest sounding ice creams in Seattle.
Unicorn, 1118 E. Pike St., 325-6492
Chef Josh Nebe uses this ice cream on his homemade elephant ears in place of actual butter -- that's how dense it is. In order to make this super rich concoction, Nebe starts by emulsifying butter (about six pounds for one batch of ice cream). He then combines six egg yolks and two cups of sugar together and drizzles in the butter, as if he's making some sort of weird mayonnaise. After chilling the batter overnight, he adds two-and-a-half cups of cream and pours it into a mixer then serves. He tops it off with candied orange zest which provides a bright citrus flavor to cut the fatty texture. The result is somewhere between frozen whipped cream and frosting. It's really intense. A small dollop of this butter ice cream goes a long way. Maybe that's why it's usually served with fried dough and not in a bowl.
|Elvis wants to know if this can be fried and served on white bread.|
Full Tilt, 5101 Rainier Ave. S., 226-2740
Full Tilt is known for it's rotating list of handmade ice creams. We've seen salted black licorice and corn and chili on the menu (both better than you'd expect), but both were sadly absent on the day we went. Instead? We treated ourselves to a Peanut Butter Bacon bar. Granted, this is a flavor that you'll either find incredibly delicious, or absolutely disgusting. It's not the most novel flavor in the Full Tilt recipe box, but different enough that a gaggle of women behind us were too afraid to order it, even though they couldn't stop questioning its existence. If you didn't know bacon was one of the ingredients, you'd think this was a really good version of a peanut butter chocolate bar. Fear not.
Joule, 1913 N. 45th St., 632-1913
Mixed with a ribbon of toffee, you can't really taste the Stilton blue cheese in this ice cream. The subtlety is almost disappointing, but really good, nonetheless. First you taste the cream, then the toffee, then a kick of blue cheese in the back of your throat. Blue cheese and toffee is a natural combination if you think about it. How many times have you drizzled honey on your blue before eating it? The only thing missing on this dessert is a pecan crumble to take the place of crostini. It's surprisingly addictive. It also pairs nicely with Chardonnay. This is exactly the type of wine and cheese party we can appreciate.
Matt's in the Market, 94 Pike St., Ste. 32, 467-7909
Rotting flesh, penicillin, smelly socks, fermented (fill in the blank) have all been used to describe the smell and taste of durian. Durian, if you don't know, is a spiky fruit popular in Asia. It's so pungent, many countries have banned it from public transportation and other public arenas. On the plus side, the texture of durian is creamy, which makes for a creamy ice cream. This watered-down version of durian is also a great way to try the fruit if you're curious about it. The ice cream flavor is mellow enough that it might actually take a couple of bites before you decide your like or dislike. Durian ice cream isn't a mainstay on the Matt's menu, but it does make an appearance every now and again. Lucky you?
Spur, 113 Blanchard St., 728-6706
Forget what it's made out of, this is a killer ice cream. Chefs Dana Tough and Brian McCracken have created a dish that really plays with your senses. You think you're going to get a lump of ice cream that tastes like foie gras, but it really doesn't. If anything, it tastes like a really decadent scoop of vanilla custard. The cocoa streusel that cradles the ice cream brings out the seared flavor of foie, not so much the liver itself. Paired with rhubarb sorbet, the texture and flavor profile of the foie gras is broken up, creating a sweet and savory combo that works really well. The execution of this dessert changes on a whim, and is not always on the menu. If it's not, just ask. There might be an upcharge for a "special order," but the extra cost is worth the price of not having to be force-fed the same boring dessert menu.