I first heard of Humphry Slocombe when its proscuitto ice cream was highlighted in the “Totally Unexpected” episode of Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, and since then I’d been dying to make a trip to San Francisco to try it. Some people might have been turned off by the sight of a big pan of pork in the middle of an ice cream shop about to be turned into a sweet frozen dessert, but my reaction was, “Must. Try. This. Now!”
Fast forward several months, and I found myself back in the Bay Area, with a visit to Humphry Slocombe penciled into my schedule. Unfortunately, the day my friends and I went, they were not offering the proscuitto ice cream. I fear this flavor may forever elude us, as another friend had visited a few weeks earlier and reported that it was not being offered that day either. It’s like the so-called red velvet ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in New York City. In the TV episode it did look like the owner was making the proscuitto ice cream on special order for another eating establishment that provided the proscuitto, so maybe it’s just not being made anymore… and it’s not on their online menu. What a shame that would be.
Even without the proscuitto ice cream, Humphry Slocombe has no shortage of odd and unique palate-twisting flavors on its menu. Their pride in their unconventional take on ice cream is prominently displayed in some Andy Warhol-esque artwork hanging on the wall as you enter the shop. You think that “Salt and Pepper” and “Hibiscus Beet” flavors are out there? Well, how about “Fetal Kitten” ice cream? If it wasn’t so politically incorrect and so completely unappetizing, I feel like they would actually take on the challenge.
So, how do these quirky flavors actually taste, then? Sure, they can obviously make ice cream out of anything, but does it taste good?
Luckily, I was able to sample plenty of flavors, perhaps to the dismay of the growing line of customers behind me.