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What Would an Official Ice Cream of Los Angeles Taste Like?

Illustration by Richard Laschon via Shutterstock
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Broken dreams? Smog? Sriracha? Dodger Dogs? What are the quintessential flavors of Los Angeles?

Recently, the Michigan declared they had an official state park ice cream flavor (it's Caramel Apple, by the way). Inspired by that curious and tasty-sounding piece of information, I naturally wondered, if the opportunity arose, what an ice cream inspired by Los Angeles would taste like. So I turned to some of Los Angeles' top taste-makers, including food personalities, chefs, and some of my favorite makers and sellers of ice cream, sorbet, and gelato in town to have them dream up a truly L.A. concoction.

The abundance of fresh produce, the vibrancy of our multicultural dining scene, and a little cynicism all proved to be fertile ground for icy inspiration. Will any of our flavor-creators actually make their concoctions? I sure hope some of them give it a go...there are some delicious ideas for a Los Angeles ice cream here.

Here's who we asked and what they came up with:

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Mike Buch, Pazzo Gelato [LAist story]
"I grew up in Los Angeles - Hollywood actually. On the one side, the aura of Hollywood can epitomize Los Angeles. And for that, I like the idea of a glamorous flavor that makes us think of limos and Oscars: Strawberry Basil Mimosa Sorbetto. Sparkling wine, local strawberries and fresh basil - elegant, light and unexpected. But, the other side of LA for me is represented by what used to be ubiquitous orange groves and the Mexican fruit carts we see everywhere. I love the sweet and salty of the fruit with chili and lime. It is both exotic and familiar. So with that in mind I suggest a Dark Chocolate Orange Cayenne Gelato. Rich, delicious and a little edgy."

Natasha Case & Freya Estreller, COOLHAUS [LAist Story]
Chocolate Malt w/[In N Out] Fries ice cream and Potato Chip Butterscotch cookies
Chocolate Mole ice cream with a Churro cookie
Vegan Lemongrass Coconut Ice Cream with our Gluten-free Coconut Almond cookie

Beth Colla, Lake Street Creamery [LAist Story]
A sorbet with Citrus & apathy! A winning combo.

Brett Cranston, The Churchill
Chili Citrus Melon Sorbet, inspired by the local street fruit bags seen around town.

Matthew Kang, Scoops Westside [LAist Story]
"One that tastes like a burger or a taco. We did a bacon jalapeno cheddar ice cream last year (and yes, it was delicious) for Eater LA Burger week, which I think captured the flavors of a burger (without the patty and bun). I don't think a taco flavor is realistically possible, but that might represent LA pretty well. Finally, I think buttered popcorn ice cream would also work. Popcorn = movies = Hollywood!"

Evan Kleiman, Host of KCRW's "Good Food"
California Almond Orchata with Mexican Choc Swirl Ice Cream
Mixed sweet citrus juice infused with pink jasmine and Thai lime leaf Sorbet
Alkaline Water sorbet with wheatgrass powder

Karen Klemens, Mother Moo Creamery
One flavor that you might consider is a hybrid of flavors -- just like LA -- Orange Peel and Szechuan Pepper. Orange because of the citrus (locally grown) and Szechuan to reflect the different cultures in LA.

Leo Neveux, Neveux Artisan Creamery [LAist Story]
I came up with not so much of an ice cream but a sorbet - Pomegranate Lime Sorbet! Pomegranate is a flashy fruit so I think it represents the glitz/glam of LA and the Lime represents our Spanish heritage. I guess this could be an ice cream too but the sorbet just seems more appropriate.

Kat Odell, Editor of Eater LA
Because LA has so many dynamic dining neighborhoods, from San Gabriel to East LA to Thai Town to K-Town to Artesia to Little Saigon, I would create an ice cream flavor that draws food culture from each. And, of course, this flavor would have to be served off a food truck! I am thinking... coconut ice cream spiked with a hint of red curry flecked with sweetened whole red beans and tapioca pearls, served over those insanely amazing "dessert nachos" from Tinga (think hot tortilla chips dressed in house-made dulce de leche and sprinkled with cinnamon).