Six Degrees of Cravin' Bacon

Unusual flavors, configurations trending in treats this summer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Burger King has rolled out … a bacon sundae. It is vanilla soft-serve ice cream with fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon, launched in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this year, reported the Associated Press.

The salty-sweet dessert clocks in at 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.

The treat is part of a trend evident this year at the nation's quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants.

Earlier this year, Jack in the Box rolled out a bacon-flavored milkshake, reported The Orange County Register. The Bacon Shake, available in limited-edition supply, contains vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, a maraschino cherry and "bacon-flavored syrup." The 24-ounce cup has 1,081 calories and 54 grams of fat.  It is not listed on the restaurant's menu.

The Denny's chain has also offered a Bacon Maple Sundae on its menu.

And USA Today featured some other unusual flavors and treats popping up this summer:

  • Sushi cupcakes: Not real sushi, but darned if this new Marble Slab item doesn't look like the real thing. These ice cream cupcakes are even topped with Swedish Fish candy. "It's a conversation starter," said Jenn Johnston, marketing chief at Marble Slab.
  • Watermelon chip: Baskin-Robbins is bringing back Watermelon Chip, watermelon ice sprinkled with chocolate "seeds." Future summer flavors, executive chef Stan Frankenthaler said, may include Fried Ice Cream and Sesame Tahini.
  • Ice Cream Pizza: OK, it's not a real pizza, nor does it really look like one. But the Friendly's item is a chocolate brownie covered with vanilla ice cream topped with sprinkles, chocolate chips and fudge drizzle. "Consumers have an insatiable desire for new flavors," said Tim Hopkins, executive vice president of retail.
  • Candy Shop Blizzard: This Dairy Queen item, due in July, smells like a candy shop, with mini-chocolates filled with hazelnut creme, fudge and caramel blended with dark cocoa fudge and DQ vanilla soft serve. "By offering the unusual, we have customers continuing to come back," said Barry Westrum, marketing chief.
  • "Pop Tart": MilkMade Ice Cream, a tiny ice cream maker in New York City that mostly uses local ingredients, has concocted a Pop-Tart-like ice cream sandwich with apricot ice cream stuffed between two freshly baked tarts.
  • Ice Cream "Brrrger": No, it isn't a real burger. It's chocolate ice cream, between two sugar cookies, made to look like a burger, right down to the oozing ketchup and mustard coloring. Carl's Jr., which is testing it in Orange County, Calif., calls it the Ice Cream Brrrger. What the chain needs to create next, jokes marketing chief Brad Haley: "A burger shake to wash it down."