Not that you’ve ever been DYING for a scoop of grape flavored ice cream, but now that I’ve stuck the idea in your head you’re probably wondering “Why? Why ISN’T grape flavored ice cream a thing? I like grapes. I like ice cream. So porque no los dos?”
The obvious guess is that there’s no demand for it. Who needs grape when you’ve got chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, oreo, rocky road, birthday cake, chunky monkey – literally throw any two words together and chances are it’s a flavor of ice cream. Take for example, “latkes drizzle” and “pancake rutabaga surprise.” Neither are real, but would you be surprised to see those combinations of words printed across a Ben & Jerry’s pint? Probably not.
Speaking of Ben & Jerry’s, their PR lead, Sean Greenwood, recently talked to Thrillist and explained why you’ve never seen grape ice cream available anywhere. The main reason is that grapes don’t freeze quite right in order to be made into ice cream, as their high water content causes the results to “often come peppered with chunks of ice,” which leads to more of a sorbet texture rather than a creamy one. “Making ice cream at home, you can get fruit like grapes pretty close to a puree, but when you are using fruit as a base on a large scale, that’s when you run into problems,” he explains. “Jerry and Ben will talk about the days of making melon ice cream, or cantaloupe ice cream, and how good that was. But then, they were doing it on a 2-gallon batch. To try to do that on a massive scale is much more challenging.”
Secondly, like I guessed before, no one has really been asking for grape ice cream. “Grapes are a difficult fruit, because of the water content – but it’s also not a very mainstream flavor for ice cream,” reports Greenwood. “Most people don’t even associate grape with ice cream. People grew up on cherry and vanilla – so now, they love cherry-based ice cream. Grape has not broken through the crème-de-glace ceiling, if you will.”
In other words, since no one has ever really had grape ice cream, no one thinks to ask for it (prior to reading this, had you?), which means companies have no reason to make it in the first place.