Food & Drink
A photo of the interior of the Ice Cream Project. The walls are covered with silver refridgerators containing ice cream tubs with logos of brands such as Ketchup.

The scoop on the most bizarre ice cream in London this summer

Look elsewhere for classic ice cream flavours like strawberry and mint choc chip. Instead get ready for Heinz tomato ketchup, Kikkoman soy sauce, and Birds Eye Petit Pois flavoured ice cream.

At the Ice Cream Project, a pop-up ice cream shop in Chelsea, the classic summer dessert is given a unique twist.

Other flavours include Maldon sea salt, Branston pickles, or Blue Dragon sweet chili. 

For those not inclined to try savoury ice cream, there are more palatable but still unusual options like Warburtons’ crumpets, Kellogg’s coco pops, Ribena, and McVitie’s digestives. 

The Ice Cream Project claims to be “a celebration of the unexpectedly delicious”.

These unconventional desserts were dreamt up by Anya Hindmarch, designer and founder of the eponymous English fashion and accessories company.

Every ice cream is hand made in Devon to an original recipe.

The concept is in the second year, after last year’s project inspired by iconic British products went viral.

Last year’s flavours included HP Sauce, Heinz Baked Beans, and Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

The light-hearted concept makes it something different to do in London this summer.

Paying £3.50 for a scoop of an ice cream flavour that may prove inedible would be annoying but thankfully the Ice Cream Project offer free samples, allowing daring visitors can try as many unusual flavours as they can stomach.

And if you decide you really like ketchup ice cream, you can take home a 500ml tub for £15. 

The Ice Cream Project claim the petit pois sorbet is “smooth and refreshing with the natural sweetness of specially selected peas”. It did taste like peas. I am not sure I like my ice cream to taste like peas.

The ketchup ice cream has a certain disconnect between the taste of ketchup and the consistency of ice cream that makes this flavour feel slightly unreal. You would suspect the sweetness of the ketchup would make it suited to translation into ice cream, but it had an overpowering sugariness.

While I proved myself to be conservative in my ice cream preferences, I spoke to Bethany Sugden, 23, who was trying a spoon of the Kikkoman soy sauce ice cream, and had a much more positive view. 

She said: “Soy was the perfect blend of bizarre and sweet. It really was a taste sensation to say the least.

“With so much wonderful variety I feel like a kid in a Willy Wonka’s factory, with such interesting creations.”

Her enthusiasm prompted me to embrace the unique over the conventional and it turned out some of the flavours are excellent.

The Maldon sea salt combines dark chocolate sorbet with salt flakes, a combination which works incredibly well. Ribena is similar to a simple blackcurrant sorbet. Lemon curd is both citrussy and creamy, reminiscent of lemon posset.

The Ice Cream Project does what it says – it creates unusual flavours of ice cream. To order pea flavoured ice cream and then complain it tastes like pea is unfair. 

The general consensus of those in the shop was try the spoons of soy sauce, peas and ketchup but leave with a sweeter, tastier flavour.

Bethany said: “I settled for Ambrosia rice pudding and it was a creamy rice puff delight.” 

I went for a scoop of the KP Original Salted Peanut ice cream, which is delicious, and a similar flavour to peanut butter.

Whether you love unusual flavours or hate them, the project is certainly not vanilla.

The project can be found at 11 Pont St, London, SW1X 9EH and will be open until Sunday.

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