Cheese is a force to be reckoned with. You can find it on anything and everything. I mean, we’ve made bacon, egg, and cheese dim sum, for crying out loud. And we wholeheartedly support the idea of putting cheese on pancakes, because life is short like that. But when word got out that cheese is addicting, the internet went absolutely wild. It all made sense. Obviously, in our neck of the woods, it gives us a reason to examine the cheesy creations of the world. This includes taking a long, hard look at cheddar cheese ice cream. Step into my office, friends.
This isn’t some sort of sick joke. Cheddar cheese ice cream is very real. In the Philippines, cheese is actually a classic ice cream flavor. It’s about as normal as chocolate and vanilla. You can find it everywhere, from street vendors to grocery stores. But unlike most ice cream flavors, this one’s salty and sweet.
As a second generation Filipino-American, I never understood the appeal of cheese ice cream. Every childhood trip the Philippines meant facing this strange concoction at every corner. In my mind, cheese was supposed to melted into a gooey, oozy mess. I know I’m not the only one.
To my horror, people even ate it on little rolls of bread called pan de sal. My mind was blown and my heart was broken.
Cheddar cheese ice cream is exactly what it sounds like. A basic recipe calls for whole milk, sugar, egg yolks, and cheddar cheese. Some fancy gourmet versions call for other ingredients, like vanilla bean and white ground pepper.
Fast forward to my late 20s, when my mind (and stomach) opened up. I had an epiphany. Cheddar cheese ice cream is just cold and creamy cheese, I thought. Once I armed myself with that mindset, I decided to try some in Woodside, Queens, a.k.a. New York’s mecca of Filipino food.
So, is cheddar cheese ice cream gross? It’s actually pretty good! You just need to let go of the idea that ice cream has to be sweet. It’s a lot like believing that all salads can be eaten for breakfast, and that all milk doesn’t have to be dairy.
If you only like cheese when it’s so hot that it’s pourable, cheese ice cream might not be your thing. Otherwise, give it a shot. And, whatever you do, don’t judge a dessert by its container.