Ketchup & Mayo Ice Cream—yep, you read that right.
I first heard about this freaky flavor being served in my hometown of Massapequa, New York, when I recently saw it on Good Morning America. Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor has been making ice cream since the 1950's – and serves some of the best frozen desserts I’ve ever had (I'm an ice cream junkie and I spent a few years making the stuff at a boutique ice cream shop back in the day). So I had no idea what to think about this particular melange. Ketchup and mayo ice cream? I mean...yuck?
And then I saw it’s served over French fries. So, double yuck?! “But wait,” I thought — I’ve spent my whole life dipping french fries in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry milkshakes... and obviously ketchup is good on French fries too... hmmmm.
I took the train out to my hometown to sample the concoction for myself. I tried to keep an open mind despite the contorted grimace-faces of horror on the friends and family I told about my mission. I bellied up to the old-fashioned soda fountain countertop and placed my order. “Have you had it before?” the counter person asked.
“Nope, first time.” I said. “What do you think of it?”
Her face twitched. “It’s, ahh, interesting…”
A few minutes later a large plate of French fries came out and another server removed a tub from the sunken freezer case. He proceeded to carefully place three light pinky-beige scoops on top of the potatoes then artfully drizzled it all with some ketchup and a dash of salt. The pile was impressive; I couldn't wait to get in there.
I grabbed spoon and hungrily but carefully dug into one of the scoops as some French fries quickly abandoned their crowded ship for the counter -- this was not a dainty dish. At first the ice cream tasted like a weird un-vanilla-vanilla, the ketchup drizzle felt jarring against the cool creaminess, and soon after, the faint tang of mayo surfaced . This was not great. I took another spoonful. I didn’t taste any ketchup in the ice cream, just that bland vanilla with the ever-so-faint hint of mayonnaise. Meh.
Then I looked down at the fries that fell on the counter and realized I was doing this all wrong. This is not a polite snack to be eaten with utensils; it’s ice cream on top of French fries for Pete’s sake. I rolled up my proverbial sleeves and prepared to get my hands dirty.
I picked up one of the double-fried, crispy potatoes and dragged it through the ice cream and popped it in my mouth. “Ooh.” I did it again. “Hmmm.” And again. “Mmmm.” I kept going, saying “I don’t know how I feel about this,” until the plate was almost clean. Obviously, I didn’t hate it. I actually had fun eating it!
Midway through the treat I had the epiphany—this was a weird thing to be eating in general, but especially at noon on a Sunday. But had it been late at night, with a group of friends, it would be pretty awesome. It’s a shame Krisch’s isn’t open 24 hours, as this would be a welcome addition to my drunk-food repertoire for sure!