This Monday marks May 1st, the fateful month ice cream shops officially open for business, if they aren’t already.
On the topic of the colour black—or rather the absence of colour, I personally try to limit wearing it (female sacrilege I know!) and it certainly isn’t the most appetizing of hues, n’est pas?
Fact: I’d rather drink bath water than eat black licorice—no joke.
While black ash ice cream surfaced last spring, the trend will fully permeate the foodie zeitgeist for summer 2017, ceremoniously making its way to an ice cream shop near you.
Black is the new Vanilla…
I’m always fascinated by the genesis of trends and how they find their way towards mainstream utopia.
In the case of black ice cream, all roads lead to the sheer inventiveness + complex flavour combinations found in Japan. Places like Hakodate and Otaro, which are found on the northern island of Japan just below Sapporo, and Saitama which is closer to Tokyo.
Flavours like soft serve black squid ink, black sesame, black curry and deep espresso have been Japanese ice cream mainstays for years, as have wasabi, miso, + basil flavours. In some instances the black colour is created by bamboo charcoal powder, which is known to known to absorb impurities and excessive odours.
50 Shades of Grey…or Black?
Black Sesame Soft Serve ↑
While the crux of black soft serve combinations seem to take on a matte texture, the black sesame soft serve can fluctuate from a darker to lighter grey. *Click on each photo for some of their respective flavours.
…and simply by proximity, Vancouver and Los Angeles are well known to have adopted an abundance of Japan’s and all of east Asia’s culinary delights.
Case in point Little Damage in Los Angeles has a black almond-charcoal soft serve that is taking over Instagram. Dubbed as “Goth Ice Cream,” the sweet treat is cheekily being referred to as ice cream that’s as “dark as your soul,” including their handmade black waffle cones.
But if we are giving credit where its most certainly due, huge kudos needs to go out to Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in NYC for premiering the viral phenom that started it all, black Coconut Ash ice cream. The owner Nick Morgenstern, achieved the colour from a form of coconut ash activated charcoal, that wait for it—tastes like coconut and may temporarily dye mouths inky black. Fetching, really!
And lastly, black ice cream has landed in la belle province of Montréal courtesy of NDG’s Ca Lem—which means ice cream in Vietnamese. Ca Lem offers up an assortment of Asian flavours like taro, red bean, green tea, coco ash and black sesame. Unfortunately Ca Lem is only opening in mid to late May, but trust me, they are worth the wait!
*Click on photos for respective flavours.
Will the black ice cream phenom have staying power in North America or is it a here-today-gone-tomorrow-Starbucks Latte, coveted soley for its Instagram potential?
Time shall tell, my kittens!
“I scream you scream, we alllll scream for BLACK ICE CREAM!”