You know about Phish Food, and we’d bet a dozen sprinkles you’ve tasted Half Baked at least once in your life. But do Buttery Udders and Breakfast in Belfast ring a bell? Probably not. These are among the many ice cream delicacies that have come out of our Flavor Lab, a magical workshop at our Waterbury, VT factory where a team of "Screamers" – like "ice creamers", get it? – creates new and exciting flavors every week. And unlike our Flavor Gurus, who develop the flavors that you eventually see in Scoop Shops and grocery store freezers, the Screamers get to really let their imaginations run wild.
WHY DID WE BUILD THIS MAGICAL PLACE?
The Waterbury Flavor Lab was created in 2011 as a home for our wackiest ideas that will probably never make it to pint-dom. Located in our factory in Waterbury, VT, fans who finish the factory tour can taste the latest experimental creations from a team of ice cream architects whose imaginations can’t be topped. The Screamers give guests a chance to taste ice cream flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Sometimes Flavor Lab flavors are strange, sometimes they’re tasty, but no matter what, they’re always unique.
THE 10 WEIRDEST & WACKIEST FLAVORS
We recently chatted with Flavor Lab Screamer Haylee Nelson to learn more about their creations. These 10 are the weirdest, wildest, wackiest flavors they’ve ever concocted:
1. Lemon Poppy Seed 2
Yes, this was the second version of Lemon Poppy Seed flavors. The Screamers loved it, but the public never really got on board. Apparently people don’t like getting seeds stuck in their teeth while eating ice cream. Who knew?
2. Candied Apple
We’ve always wondered why candied apples aren’t more popular. Is the shell too hard? Does it get too sticky? We tried to get to the bottom of things, but all we learned was that people liked candied apple ice cream with caramel swirls.
3. Sweet Sassafras
There wasn’t much middle ground with this root beer ice cream. People either loved or hated it. We did some sleuthing, though, and discovered that the people who hated it were anti-root beer in general, and the people who loved it were pro-root beer. We should’ve known.
4. Buttery Udders
Besides having one of our favorite names, this flavor was built on a foundation of Irish cream liqueur ice cream. If that’s not worth a taste, we don’t know what is.
5. At the ChocoBanana
This flavor was inspired by Bananas Foster, but the Lab was missing about half the necessary ingredients. But that didn’t stop them from trying, and the resulting flavor was one that reminded folks of their mom’s homemade banana bread.
Yup! Exactly what it sounds like. Ben & Jerry’s Grape was grape ice cream! Some thought it was the grapiest thing they’d ever tasted, others thought we should take it back to the drawing board.
7. Apple Pie a la Mode
You’d think it tasted like apple pie, but it actually tasted like Thanksgiving—if you could assign a flavor to the entire holiday, that is. Screamers lovingly dubbed it “Grandma’s Goodies” and “That Thanksgiving Flavor.”
8. Hibiscus 2
Hibiscus 1 missed the mark. We tried to learn from our mistakes, but the only lesson learned was that maybe we shouldn’t make flavors that taste like flowers.
9. Hawaiian Cool
No state is further from Vermont than Hawaii. We celebrated this long-distance relationship by mixing pineapple ice cream with white chocolate chunks. It didn’t bring us any closer physically, but spiritually? Mission accomplished.
10. Maple Hippie 2
One of our more recent flavors, this one was born because people with nut allergies deserve a "nutty" flavor. Screamers accomplished the feat by combining sunflower butter ice cream, maple and chocolate chip cookie swirls. Duh.
Nelson reminded us that these are only 10 of countless flavors that have made their way through the Flavor Lab. It takes about a week to make enough ice cream for one day of visitors, so coming up with new creations keeps them busy, busy, busy.
Have you tried these or any other Flavor Lab concoctions? Tell us about them in the comments below!