High up in the mountains in Merida, Venezuela, sits a little ice cream shop named Heladería Coromoto (Coromoto Ice Cream Shop). Sure, you can order your favorite flavors here—chocolate, strawberry, and piña colada. But why stop there? This world-record-holding heladería boasts over 800 flavors, and with so many options, it’s hard to imagine what flavor hasn’t been made. The more adventurous patrons will try flavors like rice and beans, cold duck, carrot, and spaghetti and cheese. Whatever flavor you choose, just know that it’s bound to be an adventure.
Rice and ice cream—not a likely combination. But in Japan they have taken this idea and perfected it. Mochi (pronounced moh-chee) ice cream combines two delicious foods into one sweet treat. Mochi, pounded sticky rice, is a popular snack in Japan. It forms a gooey outer shell around the ice cream inside. Mochi ice cream can be found in most grocery stores in Japan, and you can even find it in certain stores in the United States, such as Trader Joe’s. Popular flavors include green tea, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Flavors like mango and red bean paste are becoming more popular as well. Which will be your favorite?
It’s late at night at the Shinlin night market in Taipei. As you duck into the door of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, you prepare yourself for a refreshing treat: shaved ice, or bao bing. This sweet, inexpensive dish is made of shaved milk ice, which gives the bao bing a creamy flavor. There are dozens of topping options that vary from vendor to vendor, ranging from fresh fruit to red beans to chocolate. This popular treat can be found all over the island of Taiwan.
Spaghetti, pizza, and—gelato! Italy is known for its fine foods, and gelato is no exception. This intensely flavored and sinfully smooth dessert has enthralled devoted fans all over the world. Unlike traditional United States ice cream, the flavors in gelato are more powerful and pure. Many native Italians (73%, in fact) tend to choose a cream flavor over a fruity one when they order gelato; chocolate and hazelnut are two favorites. A unique trait of gelato is its shelf life of only a few days. This means that on your next trip to Italy you can count on your gelato being fresh—and, most likely, made nearby.