Perhaps you’ve seen people eagerly share their ice cream cone that confuses you. It’s rare enough that no explanation is offered or intensely sought, but when you see it, you deeply ponder, almost as if you are trying to discover the secret to life in 60 seconds. In a world of crazy flavors and colors, for once, it’s not the ice cream causing confusion. It’s the cone.
The ice cream swirl looks delicious, but not unusual. Your eye is instead immediately drawn to the strange cone. In lieu of the traditional waffle cone is a fishtail. Or what looks like a fishtail. A gingerbread fishtail, perhaps.
Atop this rests ice cream that swirls high above. Even more confusing, some people share unicorn ice cream or seasonal shapes on this fishtail cone, begging the question of what it represents. Is this unicorn really a unimaid? A mercorn?
No. If you look more closely between the fingers around the cone, you’ll notice it’s not just a fishtail. It’s an entire first, its mouth wide open to hold the ice cream swirled above. So it’s a fish eating a unicorn?
The fish-shaped ice cream is called Taiyaki ice cream, named after a Japanese treat filled with bean paste that resembles a fishtail. Instead of enjoying on its own, many now deem it necessary to top a Taiyaki and cone combination with ice cream.
The trend comes from Taiyaki NYC, where warm Taiyaki is combined with ice cream flavors like matcha and sweet toppings like mochi. Altogether, it’s an entirely unique ice cream experience that has to be shared.
Once audiences discovered it’s both delicious and sure to get likes, the amateur chefs began experimenting with how to make the treats at home. While Taiyaki creameries have expanded their reach outside of New York City and other shops are beginning to introduce the combination, it’s still not available to everyone, but homemade recipes of the creations are now just a Google search away for those looking to try the fish ice cream themselves.
Next time a fish ice cream cone appears on your feed, you can go on about how curious you are about those flavor combinations. Maybe you can even rave about the taste! Unless you are munching on the last bites of the cone, no one needs to know that you once thought Taiyaki ice cream was some strange metaphor. It’s a delicious combination an ice cream lover like you is eager to try.