Oyster ice cream
It was previously thought that eating oysters and ice cream together would be no good for one's health; some investigators in the 1930s claimed that this belief was unfounded. Oyster ice cream was already in existence as early as 1824, when a recipe for it was given in Mary Randolph's cookbook, The Virginia Housewife. The ice cream was also supposedly the favorite flavor of Dollie Madison, and was eaten at the White House. In the past, when oyster ice cream was first introduced, it was deemed a luxury food that only the "upper classes" could indulge in, because ice was scarce and difficult to find back then.
Preparation and description
According to Spanish-born chef José André, oyster ice cream is made by "gently heating oysters and cream", before freezing the product. Robert Brantley, an ice cream researcher, describes oyster ice cream as "[e]ssentially [...] frozen oyster chowder [...] served [...] unsweetened". Oyster ice cream is said to have a savoury taste, as opposed to a sweet one.
Lorraine Eaton of The Virginian-Pilot wrote that one of her colleagues at work "had nearly thrown up" after tasting Eaton's homemade oyster ice cream; others had favorable criticism for the ice cream flavour.
In popular culture and notable use
Mention of oyster ice cream is made in Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The ice cream flavour was well-liked by the author. One tale, though deemed a myth, has it that oyster ice cream was "George Washington's favorite". Two varieties of oyster ice cream were featured at the Colchester Oyster Festival in Colchester, Essex in September. "Oyster-and-ginger" ice cream was served at the 23rd Oyster Festival in Arcata Main Street, which took place in June 2013.
- Miley Theobald, Mary (Winter 2010). "Some Cold, Hard Historical Facts about Good Old Ice Cream". The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
- "Oysters, Ice Cream All Right". The Milwaukee Journal. September 21, 1934. pp. 9–.
- Shute, Nancy (November 23, 2011). "Oyster Ice Cream: A Thanksgiving Tradition Mark Twain Could Get Behind". NPR.
- Eaton, Lorraine (February 12, 2009). "Oyster ice cream: This onetime delicacy divides palates today". The Virginian-Pilot.
- "Oyster flavoured ice cream at Colchester festival". Daily Gazette. August 28, 2012.
- Poor, Kaci (June 16, 2013). "Humboldt comes out for Oyster Fest despite changes". Times-Standard.
- KCRW's Good Food Video Blog features Chef Kyle Schutte making oyster ice cream using liquid nitrogen.