Chip Hearn’s greatest challenge is trying to find ways to outdo himself. What could top the national exposure he garnered with his notoriously delicious new 2009 ice cream favorite, “Better Than Sex,” or every young boy’s 2010 triple-dare pick, “Booger”?
“I love wild combinations of stuff,” says Hearn, whose unique flavors have won awards throughout the nation. “Each year I ask myself how we can go any further.”
Hearn believes he has created a true 2011 contender with Scorpion Sting, a startling but surprisingly good concoction featuring African vanilla ice cream flavored with cayenne pepper, cinnamon and You Can’t Handle This hot sauce, with deep red ribbons of strawberry throughout. To complete the effect, a real scorpion – raised on a California scorpion farm, cleaned, dried and ready to eat – is placed on the top of each cone.
“If the heat doesn’t get you, the scorpion will,” Hearn says.
Guests at the surprise April 8 preview of the new flavor agreed. Marcellus Fooks set the bar for his friends when he not only ate the ice cream, but ate the scorpion as well.
“I’ll eat the ice cream again, but I’m never going to eat another scorpion,” Fooks said. Asked what it tasted like, he responded, “I can’t explain it. It’s just weird.” He added that he was going to dare his friends to try it.
Practicing on his little sister Desire, he convinced her to eat one bite of scorpion tail and several bites of the ice cream. When the burn began about six seconds later, she stopped and opted for another new flavor made with cake batter ice cream with crushed Reese’s cups.
Self-proclaimed hot head Elena Leonhart said she really liked the heat, but would never eat a scorpion. “I don’t have to. I’m a vegetarian,” she said.
The Ice Cream Store Manager Lisa Young proclaimed the preview a success and assured all that Scorpion Sting will have a place on the slate of new flavors being offered to the public at the store’s Fourth Annual Ice Cream Social free tasting event to be held 3 to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 19.
Hundreds of people attend the Ice Cream Social, where they are given free samples of all of the new flavors being considered for the 2011 season. Included on this year’s list of flavors for taste and comment are Banana Fana Foo Fudding, Beach Plum, Cinnamon Bun, Holy Purple Cow, Junk in the Trunk, Unleash the Green Fairy, and This Is the Ice Cream Your Parents Warned You About.
“We let the people decide what our business will do,” Hearn says. “If they like the ice cream, we’ll make more of it, and if they don’t, we won’t.”