‘We Try It’ is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
China is home to a plethora of ice cream flavors that are certainly not ‘vanilla.’ Flavors that might seem common for local tastes can be shocking and confusing for foreign nationals living in the Middle Kingdom, where anything from red bean paste to spicy chilies is likely to make a surprise appearance in our favorite cold comfort food. One flavor that caught our curiousity is meat floss and seaweed ice cream.
For those who don’t know, meat floss (肉松, rousong) is basically pork jerky that has been shredded into extremely fine strands – looking a bit like a toupee that one might find in a pharaoh’s sarcophagus. To be fair, meat floss has its place as a congee (粥, zhou) garnish or in a baozi and is by no means distasteful. Seaweed snacks are also quite delicious when a savory treat is in order, but sweet tooths are generally unimpressed by these items.
To watch Peggy and Joshua’s reaction to this meat-themed ice cream, check out the video below (VPN off):
The first bite of this ‘Ice Demon’ surf and turf creation was not unpleasant. The initial flavor is unmistakably rich, but then the distinct funk of dried meat overwhelms the palate. The ice cream is woven with strands, both thin and thick, and nestle between the teeth. The flakes of seaweed are clearly visible but the flavor of the meat floss far overpowers any hint of the salty seas. That’s not to say that we didn’t take multiple bites of the ice cream bar before abandoning ship. The experience was disconcerting but not outright disgusting. Nonetheless, with a multitude of Chinese ice cream choices, we wouldn’t recommend this particular flavor.
Who’s eating them: Automated truckers, meat freaks and packs of stray dogs
For more 'We Try It,' click here.
[Cover image by Joshua Cawthorpe for That’s]