Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2019 You’ve Never Heard Of (and what Ice Cream to eat while you’re there!)

Photogenic burial mounds in Gyeongju, South Korea.

One of our writers spent 2018 traveling around Asia in search of delicious frozen desserts, and wanted to share a list of his favorite cities he had never heard of.  Naturally, since this is an ice cream blog, he also felt obligated to include the best ice cream to get when you go!

Important Note: These cities have been chosen solely based on tourism activities and personal enjoyment.  Deliciousness of the frozen desserts did NOT factor into the rankings. We’ll write another post soon ranking the best ice cream we ate in 2018!

Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is up and coming on the travel stage, especially for travelers who enjoy less-touristed places, and Rabaul is the best city there to visit.  With beautiful scenery, traditional villages and markets, snorkeling, and World War II history, there’s something for everyone.

Continue reading “Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2019 You’ve Never Heard Of (and what Ice Cream to eat while you’re there!)”

Salt & Straw Review: Best Ice Cream I’ve had in my Life

The Shop: Salt & Straw
Location: Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA (with more coming soon)

Salt and Straw Honey Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream
My favorite flavor, Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. (Instagram photo credit: @mattyfromdisney)

You taste the large ice cream sample that the smiling staff has handed you. The first sensation is a deliciously creamy strawberry ice cream, with a subtle but perfect hint of balsamic vinegar. This taste is followed with a richer, sweeter strawberry jam swirl. Salt & Straw’s “Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper” is literally the best ice cream flavor you’ve ever had in your life. But now, the most difficult question you’ll face today: “What flavor should I pair with this?”
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Speculoos Ice Cream Recipe

Speculoos Cookie Ice Cream

Speculoos cookies are spiced European shortbread cookies, common in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany and generally eaten around Christmas. Personally, I don’t care for them that much, but Speculoos Cookie Butter is one of my favorite foods ever. It’s equally as delicious as Nutella, though a completely different flavor. You can put it on anything, but I prefer to eat it plain by the spoonful. Obviously, I had to turn it into ice cream, which is more socially acceptable to eat by the spoonful.

Speculoos Ice Cream


  • 2-3/4 cups half and half
  • 1 cup Trader Joe's Cookie Butter (or other speculoos cookie butter)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 speculoos cookies smashed into bite size pieces


  1. Blend everything except cookies until smooth.  We recommend and love our Ninja Blender!

  2. Chill in the fridge.
  3. Churn ice cream! Add speculoos cookie bits in last 2 minutes of churning.

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Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Review: A Must-Try Seattle Classic

The Shop: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Molly Moon's Ice Cream Store Front
Exterior of Molly Moon’s with the adorable logo modeled after Molly’s dog. Instagram photo credit: @mirey__2

Probably the most iconic shop in the Seattle area, especially because of the adorable dog logo, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream is a definite crowd pleaser.

The most popular, and my favorite, flavor, Salted Caramel, sits alongside other locally-inspired flavors. Melted Chocolate is made with Theo’s Chocolate, a local Seattle chocolate maker (we recommend stopping by their factory in Fremont where you can sample all 20 or so flavors). The Union Coffee flavor, Continue reading “Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Review: A Must-Try Seattle Classic”

Kurt Farm Shop: Small and Unique

The Shop: Kurt Farm Shop
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

We were flipping through a Seattle Met issue listing the “best A-Z of Seattle”. Expecting the I, Ice Cream, to be Molly Moon’s (which it always seems to be), we were instead intrigued to find Kurt Farm Shop pronounced the best ice cream in Seattle. Since we had never even heard of it, we opted to check it out immediately.

Kurt Farm Shop Exterior
Outside of Kurt Farm Shop. Instagram photo credit:

It might take you a few minutes to find it, even with the help of the almighty Google Maps. While most ice cream shops boldly wave their banners in the middle of the sidewalk, Kurt Farm Shop is tucked away almost in a small alley, behind a restaurant and a hipster shop where you’re not actually sure what they’re selling (overpriced interior design accessories and plants, perhaps?). Continue reading “Kurt Farm Shop: Small and Unique”

Super-Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

Pumpkin Ice Cream

This recipe is great for Halloween or Thanksgiving! Or any time, of course. If you’ve ever accidentally bought “Pumpkin Pie Filling” instead of pure pumpkin puree and don’t know what to do with it, this recipe will use it up!

Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream

Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 quart


  • 1 cup heavy cream (33-36% fat)
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • cup white sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup pumpkin pie filling
  • Optional mix-ins (see below)


  1. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2 quart (2 liter) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water, and place a strainer on top.

  2. Pour cream into the ice bath bowl (the empty one).
  3. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl.
  4. Heat the milk, sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom, until the custard thickens enough to coat your spatula (160-170F).

  5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool.
  6. Once cool, blend in a blender with the pumpkin pie filling.

  7. Chill thoroughly in refrigerator, preferably overnight.
  8. Churn ice cream!  We love and recommend our Cuisinart churner!

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What Exactly is Ice Cream? (And what isn’t it?)

As we began researching this article, it quickly became painfully apparent that we ourselves had no idea what ice cream actually was. Unfortunately, it seems fairly difficult to define ice cream without sounding like a chemistry textbook, but we’ll try our best.

Ice Cream Sundae

The first line of Wikipedia says that ice cream is a frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. This is certainly accurate, although us here at Ice Cream International often eat it as a main meal as well. But there are also gelatos, sorbets, custards… what is the line that separates them?
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Stout Ice Cream Recipe

Stout Ice Cream
This recipe was inspired by our trip to Bluebird Ice Cream in Seattle. They had a delicious stout ice cream, and told us that the secret was reducing the stout over heat until it made a “beer caramel”, and then mixing that into the ice cream.

Stout Ice Cream

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 quart


  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream (33-36% fat)
  • 3 tbsp 1-1/2 oz cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2-1/2 cups stout reduced over heat to a thick caramel sauce (be careful not to burn!)


  1. Bring cream cheese to room temperature, then whisk in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Mix sugar, corn syrup, and remaining milk in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to an almost boil.
  3. Cook at an almost boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk cornstarch mixture into milk mixture, then continue to cook for 60 seconds, stirring constantly with a spatula, until slightly thickened.
  5. Pour mixture into the cream cheese bowl, whisk until cream cheese is dissolved.
  6. Add cream and mix thoroughly.
  7. Allow mixture to cool.
  8. Whisk in the stout caramel sauce until combined.

  9. Chill thoroughly in refrigerator, preferably overnight.
  10. Churn ice cream!  We love and recommend our Cuisinart churner!

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Bluebird Ice Cream & Soda Fountain: A Blast from the Past

The Shop: Bluebird Ice Cream
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Bluebird Ice Cream Fremont Exterior

As you cross the bridge from downtown Seattle into Fremont, a sign welcomes you: “Entering the Republic of Fremont, the center of the Universe. Set your watch back five minutes.” Fremont is proud of its quirks: the 16-foot-tall Statue of Lenin is only outdone by the 18-foot-tall Fremont Troll, which lurks beneath the Aurora Bridge and clutches a full-size Volkswagen Beetle.

Fremont is a neighborhood that marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s the perfect home for an old-fashioned ice cream “microcreamery” and soda fountain — Bluebird Ice Cream.
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Different Ice Cream Base Recipes

Ice cream bases are the most important part of making ice cream. In fact, when you read ice cream recipes, they’re generally all quite similar: base + flavor of choice. Master your base, and all your ice creams will be delicious, until you start trying to make weird roasted eggplant ice cream anyway. Luckily, bases are quite easy, and you can’t really go wrong with sugar and cream! Let’s start churning.

Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream scoop
Homemade Bailey’s Ice Cream, using a custard base. (Click here for the recipe!)

Custard Base:
A custard base uses egg yolks as an emulsifier to make the ice cream richer and creamier. It also makes the ice cream a bit softer and easier to scoop directly out of the freezer, which is quite nice. The general recipe looks like this: Continue reading “Different Ice Cream Base Recipes”