Japan is well-known for a strange hybrid of food combinations. From strange black burgers with squid ink buns, a myriad of kit kat flavors including wasabi, and the ever popular sakura everything (Pepsi, donuts, and even red bull). On top of that, there are also the bizarre ice cream combinations too, from matcha to plum (ume), to even ramen ice cream. But are you ready for the weirdest mash-up of them all? Karaage ice cream!
For those in the know, Japan’s love affair with fried chicken is well documented. Kentucky Fried Chicken is a long time cherished cultural phenomenon. One only has to see the lines out of KFC’s doors during Christmas alone to see how addicted Japanese are to this welcomed import.
Have you ever been to Lawsons? (I mean really, who hasn’t?) Their red spicy chicken nuggets are so satisfying that even well-known world traveler and gourmand, Anthony Bourdain could not stop singing its praises, saying it’s one of his go-to snacks every time he is in Japan. Let alone the country’s obsession with karaage. These nuggets of perfectly fried and crispy morsels of deliciousness is Japan’s own take on the fried chicken craze and ranks up there as one of the must-eats when visiting Japan, right up there with sushi, ramen, and matcha.
So when the coordinators of the Karaage Festival (yes, this is a legitimate and beautiful thing) took place in Kyushu in Fukuoka, they made sure to include fried chicken (karaage) ice cream on the menu. This amazing combination of sweetness from the rich, milky Japanese soft serve ice cream with the saltiness of the fried chicken may sound strange at first, but it actually makes sense. The color is of a light brownish hue, resembling the karaage itself, though despite the color, the flavor does stand out on its own.
So if you’re in the mood for this unique Japanese concoction, make sure you pay a visit to the Karaage Festival that is running between 29th April to the 1st May this year! Can you imagine what other weird ice cream possibilities there could be in the future? Nato ice cream anyone?
Karaage Festival Website*Japanese Only