NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Vanilla soft serve from a truck: Classic, reliable, delicious, and for a growing number of ice-cream makers, boring.
Bruno Pizza in the East Village specializes in pizza made from all locally sourced ingredients and fresh flour milled in its basement.
"Great pizza starts with great the margherita as the benchmark by which to judge a pizza place," owner Demian Repucci said.
But last week, Repucci added another item to his menu: pizza crust gelato. He toasts dough, steeps it in a homemade gelato base, and sells the result for $5 a scoop.
"People see it on the menu and they say, 'Pizza crust?'" Repucci said. "It comes out tasting bready, toasty, delicious."
Lucky Pickle Dumpling executive chef Glenroy Brown created pickled soft serve ice cream for the newest restaurant owned by the creator of Jacob's Pickles.
"Pickled soft serve was like a no-brainer," he said. "It's kind of like a palate-cleanser—very light."
Daniel Gritzer, the managing culinary director at Serious Eats, has encountered innovative or experimental ice cream flavors for decades.
"It's a custard-base or a cream-base and so there's a lot of potential for it to be a blank canvas and to do a lot flavor-wise," he said. "I remember eating lobster ice cream in New England in the 1990s, which, as I recall, was pretty disgusting."
While many ice cream makers may create new flavors to challenge themselves and their skillsets, Gritzer said he believes that others, especially now, offer these new surprising frozen treats to attract some free advertising.
"Anything that can encourage people to whip out their phones, take a picture and post it on social media," Gritzer said.