THE sweet-toothed with an appetite for the unknown will have the chance to try a fishy new creation this summer – seaweed ice cream.
A St Andrews parlour is offering the treat, made up of green tea, lemon, chocolate shards and seaweed, along with their usual flavours.
“It’s a bit of a novelty but I hope people try it”Owen Hazel
Sold alongside rum and raisin, mint chocolate chip and caramel pecan, it will cost £1.60 a scoop at Janettas Gelateria.
The creation uses seaweed harvested from the Fife coast, less than 500 metres from the front of the shop. Collectors have to wait until the tide is low enough to gather the ingredient, which they carry in large rubber baskets back to shore.
It is then hung out to dry, milled into flakes and swirled into the parlour’s special ice cream recipe, resulting in a flavour which owners have admitted is “a bit strange”.
The idea arose from a collaboration between the ice cream shop and Mara Seaweed.
The seaweed they provide to the parlour is ground into a salt, which they call Shony, and is usually sprinkled over meat and fish dishes.
The ice cream was debuted at the Crail Food Festival at the weekend, when parlour owner Owen Hazel took more than 100 litres of the dessert with him for locals to try. His shop also boasts a repertoire of parsnip, pineapple salsa and even blue cheese ice cream.
Mr Hazel said: “The idea of putting seaweed into ice cream is not as ridiculous as it seems.
“It is already used in a lot of dishes and served in high-end restaurants. We’ve created a lot of strange ice cream flavours in the past and this was just another challenge.
“By all accounts it seems to have worked. I personally like it, though it is a bit strange, and my wife says she loves it.
“We first tried to create a flavour using chocolate, but that didn’t turn out very well, so I did some more research to find out what other ingredients would complement the seaweed.
“You either love it or hate it, it’s a bit of a novelty but I hope people try it.”
Mara Seaweed managing director Fiona Houston said she was “delighted” with how the recipe turned out.
She said: “I’ve tried it and it’s great. I’m delighted that we’ve collaborated with the ice cream parlour and would encourage people to give it a try.
“The Shony seaweed that we provide is a blend of hand-picked algae from the nearby coastline. It’s becoming more popular as people realise it’s a good alternative to salt.
“Hopefully this is the start of something – it’s an exciting collaboration and may lead to more recipes in the future.”
The ice cream has so far proved a hit with locals who were given the chance to preview the novelty flavour.
Seven-year-old Christopher Knight said he “didn’t want to eat it” when presented with a cone full of seaweed off the beach.
However, when he tried a lick of the ice cream, he changed his mind. “I would eat it again, it’s nice,” he said. “But I still prefer chocolate.”