“Dark Cuisine” made the combination of ice cream with chilli crisp, a Sichuan-style chilli oil, famous… at least as an oddity.
With “Chip Happens,” Ben & Jerry’s second “Netflix & Chill” ice cream flavor, they have inadvertently created the perfect flavor to spice up.
Chocolate is something of a classic food to combine with chilli; this combination is not the trend food (food trend?) it used to be years ago, but that does not take away from how great it can be when done well. Neither does it reduce its Mesoamerican pedigree.
Potato chips that are spicy have been on the rise – although often also on the way out – for years, and of course that snack combination fits.
“Chip happens” is a Ben & Jerry’s flavor with chocolate ice cream and salty potato (chip) swirls… i.e., it is a flavor combination that is so fitting for it, of course I thought of spicing that up.
Now, chilli crisp (oil) is usually served over a soft-serve that’s vanilla in flavor at best, if not even lighter-flavored, but that should just be the beginning; it sure didn’t keep me from trying something else.
The combination with chocolate ice cream is rather more interesting. It mixes more subtly, yet with deeper flavors.
Chilli crisp, with its oil, might not actually be the best combination. The oil is a bit off-putting, even if ice cream should be a rather fatty affair if it is to be creamy.
On the other hand, chilli crisp oil – and especially the one made by Fly by Jing that I tried in this combination – has a breadth of flavors that is very curious and nice here.
It could work also, maybe better, to use a chilli powder or a ma-la spice mix of chilli and Sichuan pepper (where I would, in this case, definitely go for a red Sichuan pepper).
Either way, friends of complex spicy flavors definitely should try such a combination!