Global Scoops: The Most Controversial Ice Cream Flavors
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Countless cultures around the globe have a shared appreciation for ice cream. However, not all ice cream flavors are created equal. There are pints that are universally hailed as classics and others that are more out-of-the-ordinary or even divisive.

First, let's start with the classics. Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in the world today. The simple yet distinctive flavor of the vanilla bean, whether natural or otherwise, is always a safe bet, regardless of the brand or creamery. The quintessential tub of vanilla is only seconded by chocolate; the rich, creamy, decadent taste of cocoa is always a natural choice when it comes to ice cream, especially for those who have a sweet tooth.

Strawberry is another popular flavor that has stood the test of time. The relevance of this flavor is rooted in its ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia and childhood memories for many people. The humble fruit also serves as the base for several other exciting flavors, such as strawberry cheesecake and strawberry compote. Additionally, strawberries are often associated with summertime, and there is nothing better than the sweet and refreshing taste of a strawberry soft serve to beat the heat on a hot summer day.

Moving on to more unusual flavors, matcha is increasingly becoming a popular ice cream flavor in Japan. The ice cream is made with matcha powder, giving it a unique green color and a slightly grassy, bitter taste. Matcha-flavored ice creams are usually served in the form of soft serve topped with red bean powder or as a frozen puck coated with matcha-flavored mochi.

Stracciatella gelato is a popular flavor of gelato that is made by adding chocolate chips and shavings to a natural vanilla base. The chocolate shavings give the gelato a distinct texture and a rich chocolate flavor. The name "stracciatella" is derived from the Italian word "stracciare", meaning 'to shred or tear', which is fitting for this gelato as it has shreds of chocolate throughout its composition.

Gelato is different from traditional ice cream in several ways. One of the main differences is that gelato is made with more milk and less cream than ice cream, resulting in a denser, creamier texture and a more intense flavor. Gelato is also churned at a substantially slower speed, giving it a distinct, dense texture. Furthermore, gelato contains less air than ice cream, which means it has a more intense flavor and smoother texture. 

Now, let's take a look at some of the more obscure ice cream flavors. Salmiakki ice cream is a deliciously unique and intriguing ice cream that will tantalize your taste buds. The base of this ice cream is made from a blend of full-fat milk and rich cream, infused with the bold and distinct flavor of black licorice. This already unique flavor is then taken to a whole new level with the addition of ammonium chloride. This ingredient may sound unusual, but it adds a touch of salty, savory depth that perfectly balances out the sweetness of the ice cream. The result is an ice cream that is both sweet and salty, creamy and tangy, and has a unique licorice flavor that is hard to find in any other ice cream. The ice cream is often served in a cone or a cup and garnished with some bits of salmiakki candy that add a crunchy texture and an extra layer of flavor.

Other unusual flavors include durian, which is a fruit that's native to Southeast Asia and is known for its strong and pungent smell. Some people love the taste of durian and consider it a delicacy, while others find it unbearable. Durian ice cream is often considered an acquired taste and is not for the faint of heart.

Horseradish is another polarizing flavor that has been making the rounds as of late. The distinct spicy notes of the root vegetable give the ice cream a broad range of applications in the culinary space; it can be served as a stand-alone dessert with white chocolate or as a savory course with an accompaniment like lobster. 

The industry has also seen several innovations in the last few years, but none has been subject to more hype or demand than Dominique Ansel's watermelon ice cream, served across his flagship restaurants in the US. The ice cream is made by blending real watermelon puree with cream, sugar, and a number of other ingredients to create a delicious and refreshing watermelon soft serve. The ice cream is then piped into a real slice of watermelon, which serves as both a container and a natural garnish. The end result is a beautiful and unique treat that looks almost too good to eat, with a perfect blend of natural flavors, textures, and eye-catching presentation. To top it all off, the ice cream is adorned with chocolate "watermelon seeds," which mimic the look of real watermelon seeds. The chocolate "seeds" not only add a touch of sweetness but also give a nice contrast to the sweet and refreshing watermelon ice cream.

Ice cream is a beloved treat that comes in a wide variety of flavors. From the classic and timeless vanilla to the bold and unique matcha and durian, there's an ice cream flavor out there that will tantalize your taste buds. So why stick to the ordinary when the extraordinary is just a scoop away? Let your taste buds be your guide and discover the perfect flavor that will leave you craving for more.