No prickles in fizzy thistle ice cream

Mark Scorgie, of Gourmet Ice Cream, in Dunedin, is always experimenting with new flavours for his ice creams and is bubbling about his latest - dandelion and burdock, a type of thistle.

An English engineer from a neighbouring firm gave him a dandelion and burdock soft drink to try; it's a traditional flavour over there.

Apparently, when the roots of the two plants are fermented they produce a naturally fizzy soft drink and, roasted, they are used as a coffee substitute.

Despite the scepticism of his family and staff, Mr Scorgie ordered a litre of dandelion and burdock extract from Britain and liked the ice cream so much he ordered another 25-litre container.

It is rich and creamy like all his ice creams, which are made only from egg yolks, cream and sugar, and has an intriguing aroma, a bit like bubble gum, but tastes slightly of licorice with an aftertaste of almond.

It can be found at a few supermarkets and the factory shop at 10 Birch St, where customers can have a taste before they buy.

Mr Scorgie is also using traditional Maori medicinal herbs such as horopito and kawakawa, and Australian herbs such as lemon myrtle and wattle seed in some of his ice creams - fig, horopito and kiwi ice cream, strawberry horopito and sweet balsamic ice cream, feijoa, blueberry
kawakawa and lemon myrtle ice cream, and caramel, walnut, wattleseed and chocolate ice cream.

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