Our unpredictable farmer’s market brought us a wonderful treat again today. Our surprise was a scrumptious something called ‘ice cream beans.’
I saw them in a basket at one of our usual stands and asked what they were. At first I thought it must just be a clever name to get people to buy them. This isn’t something that’s entirely uncommon at farmer’s markets out here. You would be amazed at the variety of names for different types of pineapples alone, like sugarloaf, ultra-sweet, or the “strawberry” papayas. Of course all of those fruits are delicious, but their flavors don’t always live up to the name.
But in this case, ice cream bean was not a misnomer. After the vendor gave me a seed covered in fuzzy white flesh, and told me to just eat the fruit off, I was sold. It tasted exactly like creamy vanilla ice cream.
Apparently the ice cream bean is native to South America and is a staple for Amazonians, who use it for food, medicine, and even an alcoholic drink called ‘cachiri.’ Amazonian ice cream schnapps anyone?