Teaberry Ice Cream - Gastro Obscura


Teaberry Ice Cream

This Pennsylvania specialty sometimes looks like Pepto-Bismol and smells like Bengay.

Teaberry ice cream tastes neither like tea nor berries. The teaberry has a minty, spicy flavor that some remember as an old-timey favorite, while others liken artificially-flavored versions to Bengay (a pain reliever made with lab-produced wintergreen oil). These crimson, pea-sized fruits grow off an evergreen plant native to New England, and Pennsylvanians love them in ice cream form. 

Their shocking pink hue and medicinal flavor make for a polarizing treat, though the berries were once ubiquitous. In addition to occasional appearances in candies, cure-alls, teas, and wine, the D.L. Clark Company produced a teaberry gum that peaked in popularity during the 1960s. Although teaberry fever has subsided, Pennsylvania hasn’t given up on the fragrant fruit. Harrisburg-based ice cream company Hershey’s (no relation to the candy company) still sells a teaberry ice cream.

Teaberry ice cream is often a seasonal offering among smaller companies, as the berries ripen during mid-autumn. Keep an eye out for the Pepto-Bismol pink color at creameries throughout the Mid-Atlantic, but expect to find the bulk of the frozen teaberry confections in Pennsylvania.

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