Sushi lovers around the world know wasabi as the thick, green paste that adds pungent heat to their nigiri and rolls. But wasabi ice cream combines the best of both worlds: sensational tingling and sweet relief in one cooling, warming scoop.
Ice cream makers add the mustardy, horseradish-like root to otherwise classic ice cream. In its highest-quality form, wasabi is freshly grated. Most often, it’s sold as a powder or paste. The burn of wasabi differs from that of chili peppers. The chemical cause is not the same, and while wasabi’s effects are short-lived, eating more than a dash almost seems to tingle the taster’s brain.
Fans liken the initial taste to a minty vanilla, followed by a distinct afterburn. For a pleasant sting between bites of otherwise cold, creamy dairy, this sweet is sure to clear your sinuses, then stuff them back up.
Need to Know
If you don't want to search out a parlor with the flavor, consider playing wasabi roulette. Each player gets ice cream (or an ice cream puff), but only one contains a secret stash of wasabi. The goal is to guess who ate the wasabi.
Where to Try It
Sundaes And Cones95 E. 10th St., New York, New York, 10003, United States
This East Village spot features wasabi ice cream on a rotating basis.