Let’s face it, cheese is king! There’s practically nothing that’s not at least a little bit better when covered in cheese, but there is a line, right? Apparently, that line extends way further than we could have ever imagined tasty, as cheddar cheese ice cream is definitely a thing. We know, it sounds like this is just one more trend that been taken way too far (looking at you kale juice), but, trust us, this is a game changer. It might not have the same creamy, sweet taste that folks are used to, but it’s totally delicious…in its own way. People with an extreme sweet tooth may be a little turned off, but for those who love all things savory, this might just be the perfect summer treat. Cheese fanatics may cheer this new craze, but even everyday cheese lovers may find themselves totally smitten.
While a bit foreign to those in the US, this cheesy, frozen treat is actually very common in the Philippines, where cheddar cheese flavored ice cream is as ordinary of a flavor like chocolate or vanilla. It’s so common, in fact, that many street food vendors sell it to passersby. It’s a little salty, a little savory, and surprisingly, a little sweet. If you think that cheese should be melty and gooey, it might be tough to wrap your head around this much cooler alternative, but those who’ve had it before swear that it’s delicious. You just have to remember that ice cream doesn’t necessarily have to be super sweet.
Though the taste is more salty/savory than traditional ice cream, cheddar cheese ice cream is made much the same way as its sweet predecessor. All it takes is whole milk, sugar, egg yolks and, of course, cheddar cheese. Some fancier, more gourmet versions, like this recipe from The Nibbler, may have ingredients like vanilla bean and white ground pepper, but it’s delicious either way. And cheddar isn’t the only cheese used to make ice cream, though it is the most common. Other cheesy ice cream recipes call for cream cheese, goat cheese, and even blue cheese.
While some may enjoy licking up a scoop of cheddar cheese ice cream all on its own, the unique frozen treat is very versatile when it comes to pairing it with other foods. A classic, Filipino tradition is to serve it with bread like an ice cream sandwich, as the more neutral flavor of the bread helps in cutting down some of the saltiness of the ice cream. Another fun idea is to pair it with apple pie! In some part of the US, serving up a slice of warm, gooey apple pie isn’t complete without a slice of cheddar cheese on top, while in others a creamy scoop of ice cream is a must. It’s a no brainer then to combine the two to take your apple pie game to a whole other level. Various specialty shops around the US are already jumping on this genius idea, such as Wednesday’s Pies based out of Denver, Colorado. Pastry chef Joy Williams pairs her cheesy ice cream made with cheddar cheese powder (used for the best texture, flavor, and color) with the shop’s caramel apple pie. To knock it up another level, Williams adds a touch of salt to the filling and crust of the pie, as well as a hint of lemon and ginger to create a unique dessert that isn’t overly sweet.
Cheddar cheese ice cream may seem tough to swallow for some people, but if you just remember that it’s only cold, creamier cheese, it gets a little easier. Since it’s not exactly sold in stores across America, if you’ve just got to get your hands on it, your best bet is just to make it yourself, though you’ll most likely need an ice cream maker to assist you. Of course, if you’re up for a little road trip, we hear the Philippines are quite lovely this time of year.