Taro ice cream is probably the most popular flavor at FLOW. It’s so popular that we actually haven’t seriously considered any other ice cream flavors as a necessary addition to our ever-growing repertoire of vape pod flavors.
Not even vanilla.
While vanilla has reigned supreme as the world's favorite ice cream flavor for many years, a new report shows that it may be at risk for holding that revered position for ice cream flavors for much longer.
For the 90% of U.S. households that regularly choose a sweet, frozen treat, vanilla reigns supreme as the top choice for ice cream falvors, but why?
According to ice cream expert and IDFA vice president, Cary Frye, it is simply because of its versatility.
"Vanilla has long been the best-selling ice cream flavor not only because it is creamy and delicious, but also because of its ability to enhance so many other desserts and treats. It tastes great topped by whipped cream and fudge sauce in a sundae, with root beer in a float or atop a warm slice of apple pie,” she says.
Regardless of what the report says about the next most popular ice cream flavor in America (which is Chocolate, in case you were wondering), taro is the ice cream flavor that gets all the love over here at FLOW.
There’s a reason for that.
Taro has been a hipster go-to substitute for traditional carbs for a while.
I have no idea, it’s not better than traditional sources of carbohydrates in any significant way but it offers a taste of the exotic without straying too far from fundamentals. And that’s what being a hipster is all about, right?
But let the New York Times tell it, you’d think that taro is from another planet.
“While taro is eaten throughout the Pacific, only in Hawaii is it revered as a bridge between the mortal and the divine: the plant that grew from the grave of the Sky Father’s stillborn child, and then watched over his younger, human brother and all his descendants ever after. In this, taro is not simply food but a connection to origins, physical and spiritual.”
There’s another reason why taro is so popular with the under 30 crowd as an ice cream flavor (even though it’s been popular in the Asian community since forever).
Two years ago (that’s in 2017), there was an “ube ice cream” craze in NYC.
What does that have to do with taro ice cream?
Well, ube (better known as purple yam) is part of the root vegetable family that includes sweet potatoes, yucca and, you guessed it, taro.
And because of the purple tint that this so-called purple yam gives to ice cream that it is imbued with, the good folks of NYC loved to take pictures with it for the gram. Yep, the reason why taro became so popular as an ice cream flavor is partly due to the fact that it is so instagram-worthy.
One blogger even went as far as to write the following about “ube” (taro) flavored ice cream:
“What makes ube stand out is its entrancing deep purple color and health benefits. Purple yams are packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants that support brain function and protect against heart disease. I’m not saying that eating ube ice cream by the pint will make you live forever (only one way to find out), but it is nice to know that you don’t have to feel too guilty eating it.”
So now, taro ice cream is not only suitable for the gram, tastes delicious with pretty much anything, it is also healthy enough for East Village dwelling hipsters that, for some reason, have a huge say in what’s cool and what’s not.
Fundamentally, what it came down to is that the taro ice cream flavor gained quite a following within Asian communities before it was co-opted by mainstream culture (as we do with so many things).
And now, for the lack of a better term, it’s gentrified.
One ice cream maker in LA had this to say about the offerings in their store, although it isn’t directly related to the taro ice cream flavor, notice how there is, in fact, a thing such as culturally-appealing ice cream flavors:
“Because of the diversity of LA, you know, we've changed a lot of flavors we never thought we'd make. So we do a lot of Asian flavors. We do taro root, lychee, black sesame, red bean. Do a lot of Latin flavors: horchata, Oaxacan chocolate, dulche de leche.”
So there you have it, taro ice cream, it’s bomb.