Ice Cream Is the New Black, and This Summer It’s All the Rage
Food| | By Robin Milling
There’s no doubt about it — ice cream soothes the sweltering soul on a hot day — and with summer quickly approaching, it’s time to get your goth on with black ice cream. Yes — you read that correctly — charcoal-colored ice cream is all the rage, including the cone that it melts into.
Tired of that same old boring vanilla? Now you can be daring and go black. And if you find yourself in a dark mood, there’s now ice cream to match it.
While black ice cream surfaced last spring, the trend will fully permeate this summer, making its way to an ice cream shop near you.
This exotic flavor and color of our favorite soft-serve treat comes from places like Hakodate and Otaro on the northern island of Japan. Flavors like soft serve black squid ink or ikasumi, black sesame, black curry and deep espresso have been Japanese ice cream mainstays for years. In some instances, the black color is created by bamboo charcoal powder, which is known to absorb impurities and excessive odors.
The novelty of black ice cream — smelly or not — made it’s way onto social media. In 2012, Twitter user @ton_chan1 became an instant fan of the inky ice cream even if it does turn your mouth into a gaping black hole.
— とんちゃん (@ton_chan1) August 17, 2012
Translated it reads, “I came to the geopark Uratomi coast of Tottori prefecture ♪ (* ‘∇ `*) It is said that the sea is beautiful about Okinawa! As expected there is a large fishing port Tottori, Ikasumi Soft! After eating and wiping out the mouth the tissue became black! But it is quite delicious.”
There is also a Japanese flavor based on soy sauce. The maker of a popular Japanese brand of soy sauce has been trying to promote soy sauce flavored ice cream — as well as soy sauce as an ice cream topping.
If you like your ice cream salty, this one is for you. While the idea hasn’t quite taken off yet, it’s certainly a unique Japanese flavor.
Black Ice Cream in the U.S.
You don’t have to travel all the way to Japan to try some. Soft Swerve NYC in Manhattan serves the black sesame soft serve — which can fluctuate from a darker to lighter grey.
Then there’s Morgensterns NYC — also in Manhattan — which focuses on serving texture-driven small-batch ice creams with a renewed attention to flavor and palate. Owner and founder Nicholas Morgenstern develops each recipe specifically for each individual flavor. Their twist on black ice cream is their black coconut ash flavor.
In Los Angeles, there is Little Damage — a family-owned company specializing in homemade soft-serve. They now have a black almond-charcoal soft serve that actually comes from activated charcoal. It’s taking over Instagram cleverly dubbed as “Goth Ice Cream,” — their slogan is referring to the ice cream as being as “dark as your soul” — including their handmade black waffle cones.
They announced their goth ice cream is, “Food for your mood. Wednesday Adams would approve.”
A post shared by Little Damage Ice Cream shop?? (@little.damage) on
Black Ice Cream in Canada
If you find yourself in Montreal, black ice cream has landed courtesy of Ca Lem Creamery, which means ice cream in Vietnamese. Ca Lem offers up Coco-Ash and black sesame. While it may taste good, beware of black ice cream’s side affects.
Ca Lem wrote on Instagram, “We don’t recommend having Coco-Ash Ice Cream on a first date ? but we do recommend it as a natural teeth whitening and body detox trick!! ?”
We don’t recommend having Coco-Ash Ice Cream on a first date ? but we do recommend it as a natural teeth whitening and body detox trick!! ?? #Repost @claireverriele #coconutash #activatedcharcoal #yummyinmytummy
A post shared by Ca Lem Creamery (@calemmontreal) on
The inside skinny on black ice cream — it certainly seems to be a curiosity worth trying.