Thursday, November 17, 2005

Yakinasu (Grilled Eggplant) Ice Cream!


Yakinasu Ice Cream (Grilled Eggplant Ice Cream)

This could be one of the weir... , no "adventurous" ice creams we have in Japan. This is yakinasu (grilled eggplant) ice cream made in a town called Aki in this prefecture. Yes. They really mix in grilled eggplant (puree) when making ice cream.

Let me tell you. This is NOT a bad-tasting ice cream. But it makes you laugh. At least it made me and some people on a TV morning show crack up the first moment it melted on the tongue. I repeat. It’s not a bad taste. But our brains have not made an association between the taste of grilled eggplant and ice cream. It tastes too real grilled- eggplant-like where you least expect it to be, and that makes you laugh, if you are already familiar with grilled eggplant. Honestly. Maybe this does not taste that strange to those who have never tasted grilled eggplant before. I think it’s our expectation that’s making us see this as “funny.”

* I bought this at a souvenir shop at Katsurahama beach when I visited there last Sunday for Ryoma Festival.

19 comments:

Carlyn said...

Obachan;
Hmmmmmmmmm.....grilled eggplant icecream......I'm not sure...OK, if you say it tastes good...hmmmm

bilbo said...

hmmm grilled eggplant and ice cream. my mind fails to make the connection. But the it fails connect red beans and ice cream too. When my bro was here on vacation, he was experimenting with different icecreams available in the store here. he bought a whole pack of the bean ice cream. that pack had to be thrown out eventually. The mind simply did not make the link.
To be fair though, we dont normally have kidney beans or red beans

ayra said...

I think many asian cultures use red beans as a sweet dessert form of some sort -- seems normal to me to have it as a flavor for ice cream.

I don't associate adzuki beans with anything but sweet taste, really. It would seem strange to use it in a savory dish!

rokh said...

mmm....eggplant ice cream. nothing is weird really, its all in the mind!

KT121 said...

Hi obachan,
I love grilled aubergine but not in ice cream!Though I'm sure you wouldn't taste it if you didn't know as happened to me with tofu ice cream!

cookiecrumb said...

I'm laughing, and I haven't even tasted it! Funny.

AveQute said...

Hmm...eggplant ice cream sounds interesting. I like eggplant okay, but it's good to be adventurous! The "weirdest" ice cream flavor I have tried was corn and cheese. There's a restaurant in NYC owned by chef Mario Batali called, Otto, that I'd like to visit one day, and I heard that their corn gelato is very good. They also make olive oil gelato which I heard was delicious and "Gorgonzola Dolce" gelato, which is a curious flavor!

Thaaniya said...

Grilled eggplant ice cream!! Hehehe! Man! That is WEIRD! My fave ice cream flavours are from the Philippines; Macapuno (young coconut)and Ube (purple yam). In Brunei we also like red bean ice cream. Yum! Do you think they're weird flavours?

cookiecrumb said...

Thaaniya: In the US, coconut is fine for dessert, but yam or beans is weird. And yet -- we're making sorbets with black pepper and tarragon.

obachan said...

Carlyn
Hey, I said “not bad-tasting.” ;)

bilbo
To us, azuki beans and ice cream are pretty OK, (even Haagen-Dazs sell azuki ice cream here in Japan), but I never thought about kidney beans. But as far as they are beans, it wouldn’t scare me to death :)

ayra
Azuki ice cream is my mom’s favorite. I hated it when I was little, but now I like it, but my dad never even wants to try it.

rokh
Maybe that’s true. And to me there are some other mind-teasing ice creams … like natto ice cream…

KT121
The biggest difference is that with this ice cream, you really taste the grilled-eggplant flavor. There’s no doubt about it. And that’s what that really makes us --- well, at least some of us --- laugh.

cookiecrumb
Thanks. Well, who knows. You might find this at Safeway someday ;)

AveQute
Hmmm… corn and cheese. I tried to imagine the taste, and it doesn’t seem too weird to me… but I’ll never know what it actually tastes like unless I try it, right? ;)

Thaaniya
No. They all sound really yummy! We have purple sweet potato ice cream here and that’s one of my faves.

cookiecrumb
Mmmmm… never heard black pepper and tarragon ice cream before, but they don’t scare me, either. I think some kind of peppers and herbs can give a nice kick to the sweetness of ice cream… well, not ALL kinds, though…

Julia said...

Much as I love grilled eggplant,it's hard to imagine pairing it with ice cream! This is literally "ice cream that tastes funny". :)

rae said...

obachan,
is this true what this englishman in osakasays
that kit kat has an obasan flavor in japan?!!!

Evil Jonny said...

Very very unusual! Haha.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I wonder what this ice cream tastes like ! Indeed, the idea of an eggplant tasting ice cream might be strange, but I'm sure that it's fine. We are used to eating desserts or tarts made with pumpkins and with vegetables such as carrots, so why not eggplant?!? Here in Switzerland, some people eat their salads (iceberg or batavia) with sugar sprinkled all over and we are also used to mixing sweet stuff with salty food (apple sauce with blood sausage)....

obachan said...

Julia
Yep. I know what you mean. I’m really tempted to have people from different cultural backgrounds taste this ice cream and see how they would react.

rae
Come on, rae! Don’t you know that obasans are the most tasteful being in Japan? Especially those in Osaka, who wear leopard patterned tops and big accessories, taste the best when sandwiched between the wafers and coated with chocolate. ;P
Well, joking aside, these are the recent ones.  

Evil Jungle Prince
See? You’re already laughing ;)

Rosa’s Yummy Yums
I guess most vegs with a subtle sweetness can be potential candidates for ice cream. Talking about sausage and sweet stuff, my first experience of the combination of meat and fruit jam/sauce was in the U.S., and now I’m an avid advocate of “sausage with grape jelly.”;)

Duncan said...

I live over in Kitakyushu, and on a big day out to Fukuoka visited an icecream shop which included this tub, but the flavour I ended up eating was the takoyaki. It had the opposite effect to this yakinasu, as I was unable to think about it without a little retching.

The taste was actually quite sweet and fruity, but whenever the icecream melted down to leave a little chunk of octopus on my tongue, well...

Maybe I will try the yakinasu next time.

obachan said...

Hi Duncan,
You mean takoyaki ice cream with real octopus bits in?! OMG!!":O THAT sounds a little too adventurous. But I want to give it a try -- just a little bit to see what it tastes like.

glutton rabbit said...

Bachan, I heard of wasabi ice-cream but yakinasu ice-cream? Whoa... really different...

obachan said...

I heard of wasabi version, too, and heard it tasted better than you might expect. Mmmm... I'm curious...