June 10th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

An ice cream parlor in Columbia, Missouri, caused a lot of buzz on Wednesday when we revealed their latest flavor had a, shall we say, "unexpected crunch."

The secret ingredient? Cicadas, duh.

So we took a poll, and 65 percent of our readers answered there's not a holy chance in heck they'd try the specialty of the house.

Regardless, we were intrigued and reached out to the mad scientists over at Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream for their side of the story:

When the news started to spread about our cicada ice cream, our biggest concern was that people would think we were going for a shock factor. In reality, our goal at Sparky’s is to always come up with new flavors that challenge people’s perceptions of what a dessert can be but also taste really, really good.

...But we’re more than just an ice cream parlor that serves bugs. During the especially hot days of summer, it’s up to us to make sure people can cool off and enjoy themselves no matter what the thermometer may read.

Five Ways to Cool Off this Summer that Doesn't Involve Bugs in Your Ice Cream

1. Make some weird ice cream
"At Sparky’s, we do our best to mix together classic flavors with some you won’t find in your local grocery store. Some of the ideas come from our customers contributing to our suggestion box (like our lavender-honey flavor), while others come from inventive employees with the freedom and support of our owner.

Over the years, we’ve made maple bacon, carrot cake, green tea, jalapeño chocolate, Thai black rice and more.

One of our more popular flavors is a red wine ice cream made with wine from a local winery and dark chocolate chunks. Get your ice cream maker out and see what flavors you can think up!"

2. Ditch the cream and create a sorbet
"Non-dairy sorbet is like a Slurpee for sophisticated people. In place of cream and milk you use fruit, sugar, and water. Sorbet is especially great on hot summer days when you’re looking to beat the heat.

Some of our most popular sorbets are our mango lime, strawberry lemonade, Champagne peach, and banana caramel.

You can even make a chocolate sorbet for your vegan friends - chocolate-banana and chocolate-orange are always winners. If you’re feeling real sassy, blend some sorbet together with orange juice or sparkling water and some vodka for a great summertime drink."

3. Wake up with a Red Bull shake!
"If there’s one thing we’ve learned at Sparky’s over the years, it’s that our owner can’t go more than roughly twelve minutes without caffeine.

When life hands you Red Bull and ice cream, blend the two together and enjoy. Make them just as you would a regular milkshake, replacing your milk with some liquid energy.

Customer favorites are made with mango, blueberry or raspberry ice cream, but don’t rule out using a sorbet instead."

4. Hang out with the root beer float’s older brother, the Guinness Float
"Root beer floats have long been a favorite dessert treat for most people, but sometimes a new take is needed to mix things up.

We pour a whole can of Guinness into a glass and top it off with a hefty scoop of ice cream. Most people opt for coffee, cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate ice cream, but don’t be afraid to do some experimentation on your own."

5. If all else fails, add booze to your milkshake
"Besides making ice cream with alcohol, one of our biggest sellers are our booze shakes. These warm-weather delights sub out some of the milk for liquor to create a drink you wouldn’t be surprised to find at a bar.

Try making chocolate shakes with some Bailey’s or amaretto, a White Russian with vanilla ice cream, vodka and Kahlúa, or a Creamsicle with vanilla, orange juice, vodka and triple sec.

Above all, our Grasshopper is hands down the fan favorite here in Columbia. We blend peppermint chip ice cream with some milk, a shot of crème de menthe and a shot of crème de cacao and serve up the bright green shake to happy customers."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Dishes • Ice Cream • Think


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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. dirtnasty

    mushroom niceCream

    July 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  2. LikesToSeeHisToes

    I've done several versions of Beer Floats, and they rock! But... man talk about making the waste band expand! LOL! Totally worth it once in a while though. Highly recommend giving it a try!

    @Andrea M – I was going to take your recommendation of trying Amore Gelato this weekend after Elitch's but based on your comment right below it, it's very obvious your nothing but a super elitist who should be down on Peal St rubbing unshaved arms with all the other "hip" m0rons.

    June 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  3. gkingii

    Blech!

    June 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  4. Courtney

    I was visited CoMo yesterday and my friend took me to Sparky's and it was a good time. The Cake Batter Ice Cream was delicious and it was a very reasonable price. Also the customer service was really nice too!

    June 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  5. Andrea M

    i bet your all a bunch of fat a** rednecks who date their cousins or sisters/brothers... go watch nascar and listen to your cu ntry music hahaha

    June 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • PairAZZ Hilton

      I gotz my #88 hat turned around backerds 'cuz I'm gonna bitch slap you,punta!

      June 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • shannon morris

      Obviously, you have never been to Columbia, MO. It's a great place to get away from close-minded, bigoted, presumptuous people such as yourself. We probably have more culture in a few blocks than Denver has in an entire city, with much less crime. How many times has Denver been named in any magazines as the best place to live in America? How many ice cream places there have made national news with their creative flavors? How many Denver pizza places have been called "best college hang-out in America" by the Today show?
      "Studies consistently rank Columbia as a top city in which to live for educational facilities, health care, technological savvy, economic growth, cultural opportunities and cost of living." – Wikipedia
      As for people dating cousins: Here are a few people who MARRIED cousins, and none of them are from Columbia Missouri – Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, T.S. Eliot, Johann Sebastian Bach, John Adams, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Franklin D Roosevelt, Greta Scacci, Igor Stravinsky, H.G. Wells, Rudy Guliani, and that's not even getting into European royalty.
      Maybe you should read a book now & then instead of writing idiotic comments for all to see.

      June 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • shiny666

      i wish i could say andrea m. was trollin' for sure, but i'm just not sure. it's not a very creative post, to say the least. i've met a handful rednecks, btw, and most of them wouldn't marry their cousins, and quite a few of them aren't exactly lardasses. Stereotypes have about as much business in this comment thread as on the front page of NY Times. thanks for the good times, troll, now go back in your cave.

      //end rant, begin coffee which is missing irish whisky and/or whiskey

      July 2, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  6. Andrea M

    Amore Gelato in Denver has an amazing fresh mint mojito sorbet. Best thing ever on a hot day.

    June 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  7. Joseph

    Cut to the chase and make Hot dog flavored.

    June 12, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  8. rakpowers

    AP got this story mixed up. According to the orginal reporter for the Missourian, Melissa Klauda, Sparky's decided to stop selling cicada ice cream after consulting the health dept. The health dept. did not tell Sparky's to stop selling the ice cream.

    June 12, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • shannon morris

      It was "advised" by the health dept. that they stop selling it. Saying the health dept "made" them stop is more sensational, which is why AP decided to "mix it up." Anybody who went to our journalism school can tell you that sensationalism, not accuracy is what journalism is really all about! (Just watch Fox news if you don't believe me.)

      June 28, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  9. Hayley Devlin

    I've always wanted to go to a shop that makes Chai flavored Ice cream. That would be so good!

    June 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tony

      Sparky's does it! The key to a good batch is to get lots of spices to add to it. Try nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon. Use lots of Chai compared to your ice cream base to really get the flavor to come out.

      June 12, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  10. erich2112x

    I make what's called Skunky Monkey. I use only the best ingredients. AK 47 is very tangy. Its great for entire body sensation buzz. Especially popular for medical marijuana use.

    June 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • shiny666

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhang

      it's on the "To Drink" list.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  11. Meredith

    Sparky's was my favorite place for ice cream in college. My roommate and I went at least once a week (sometimes multiple times in one day!) Green tea and lavender honey were two of my favorites. It's definitely one of the main things I've missed about Columbia since I graduated!

    June 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Greg

    The best spiked ice cream I've ever had is made with Sapling Vermont Maple Liqueur. Maple mudslides, and ice cream floats! I recommend you check it out..it could easily top these..

    June 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • shiny666

      That sounds great. Lots better than cheap vodka, anyways. I wonder how Drambuie would fare? Banana Rum? Amarula? Rompope? Alize? Jeremiah Weed sweet tea flavored vodka? Just throwing some out there.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  13. ERic

    People are so worried about trying new things, that they let things pass. I am not talking about trying something that will hurt you. Congrats, to all the creators out there.

    June 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  14. Mamie

    I wants some BBQ Brisket ice cream. Fried chicken ice cream for Obozo?

    June 11, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  15. sam

    Oh yea good for the kids too...Just dont smoke right

    June 11, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • shiny666

      my turn to troll:
      Psalm 66:15 (KJV) "bible.cc"
      "I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah."

      So... the moral of the story is not to use liquid smoke.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  16. Rita

    Leinenkugel suggested two newsletters ago making ice cream sodas with beer. I love their Berry Weiss with black raspberry ice cream. Just tried Woodchuck Summer Cide, flavored with blueberries and I'm already thinking it would taste good with vanilla ice cream. The possibilities are endless anymore with all the beer flavors out there

    June 11, 2011 at 5:28 am |
  17. Today in Cambridge

    Christina's Ice Cream in Cambridge, Inman Square is top of the line. Saturday evening try Green Lantern ice cream (key lime w/candied lime). The producers of Green Lantern will be at Christina's to promote the film. Christinasicecream.com

    June 11, 2011 at 4:48 am |
  18. Sam

    I wish I could try the cicada icecream, it sounds really good. I wish people would be more open minded about things like that, then I would have it in my region.

    June 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Jimmy Crackercorn

      Cicada ice cream sounds good? Are you mental? It might be interesting to try, but in no universe would anyone with a brain think its sounds good.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
      • Mahna Mahna

        That's a pretty ignorant response. The majority of people on the planet have grown up eating insects and find them to be a delicious treat.

        June 11, 2011 at 9:05 am |
      • shiny666

        i'm not sure about eating insects, but i'd probably go for a Caeliferan of some kind if i were to try one. (although, not crickets, since i have a soft spot for them.)

        July 2, 2011 at 11:57 am |
      • dirtnasty

        sounds good

        July 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  19. viranka

    i prefer pepper in my ice cream.

    June 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  20. svann

    I tried the cicada ice cream. Now I chirp when I sit down!

    June 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • KC

      HMMMMMMMMM Maybe you're lactose intolerant.

      June 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • dirtnasty

      neet

      July 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  21. Mary Davis

    Sparky's is hands down my favorite place for ice cream!..if you haven't tried it do it now! & they let you sample before you buy!

    June 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  22. Mike Bellman

    Yeah it turns out while they make AWESOME ice-cream with all-natural ingredients, there aren't any REAL grasshoppers in the Grasshopper flavor. No Russians in the White Russian and ABSOLUTELY no geese in the Grey Goose. Hmmmm.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
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