I Tried Onion Flavored Ice Cream—Here’s What I Thought

Turns out onion ice cream can almost make you cry, just like the real thing.

For crying out loud… onion ice cream? What would you expect from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, the company that had a hit with crazy ice cream flavors like macaroni and cheese? Gotta keep peeling back the layers of fresh flavor creativity, I guess, at least until it makes you cry. (Spoiler: It almost did.)

Van Leeuwen has scoop shops in New York, California, New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut and Washington D.C., and its flavors are sold in grocery stores nationwide as well as online. Its mac and cheese ice cream made headlines in 2021—and yes, you can still buy the flavor on its site. Other wacky Van Leeuwen flavors have included pizza ice cream, hot honey ice cream and a Royal Wedding Cake flavor inspired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 wedding cake, with lots of lemon and elderflower.

Why Is Van Leeuwen Making Onion Ice Cream?

Glass Onion Van Leeuwen Onion Flavored Ice CreamCourtesy Van Leeuwen

Remember the 2019 mystery movie Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and a heap of other stars? That film was a hit, and the first of two sequels, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, just came out in theaters. If you didn’t catch it during its short five-day run, don’t worry—it’s coming to Netflix on Dec. 23.

In a tribute to the movie, Van Leeuwen’s new Glass Onion flavor ice cream celebrates various aspects of the film. It blends vanilla ice cream with a touch of Greek yogurt (the film is set in Greece), adds honeycomb candy for a glass-like crunch and is topped off with a swirl of bourbon caramelized onion jam. Yep, two things that should probably never even be in the same room together, onions and ice cream, are disco dancing here in the same carton, and that’s not just chive talkin’.

Here’s What I Thought

Glass Onion Cone Van Leeuwen Onion Flavored Ice CreamCourtesy Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen sent me a carton of the Glass Onion ice cream, and even though I’ve tasted “healthy Coke” made with balsamic vinegar and chowed down on “Turkey Dinner” candy corn which came with hot dog and hamburger flavors, I was not at all sure about this oniony innovation. It seemed like an unholy marriage straight out of a horror movie.

The first time I tried it, I opened the carton, took a cautious sniff, and almost bailed and tossed the whole thing in the trash. There’s just something wrong about ice cream that looks like a lovely vanilla with a caramel swirl, yet smells like the steam rising from a late-night grill at a White Castle burger joint. And my first few tentative tastes didn’t exactly sell me on the stuff. I think my first spoonful hit a vein of upsetting onion, and I almost spat it out.

But I made myself wait and try it again a day later, and you know what? I didn’t hate it. I’m still seriously disturbed by the onion smell. But if you carefully pick around in the ice cream, you can appreciate a soft, creamy vanilla base with caramelly stripes that are more brown sugar than onion. Only occasionally did I hit a spoonful that flooded my mouth with a sweet onion taste and made me question all the career choices that led me to this review.

So if you love being adventurous, or you want to taunt your friends for losing a bet or something, I can honestly say that the Glass Onion ice cream is a fun one-time try. It’s a novelty, and I’d never buy it again, but it’s fun to brag that I ate onion ice cream and survived. It has some a-peel.

Where Can I Get Glass Onion Ice Cream?

You can buy Glass Onion ice cream by the scoop or the pint at Van Leeuwen shops in New York and L.A., for a limited time. If you don’t live near those cities, you can order pints online for nationwide shipping. It seems weird to buy ice cream online, but mine came nicely packed with dry ice and wasn’t a bit melted.

Also, Netflix and Van Leeuwen will be giving away free scoops in New York’s Union Square on Dec. 23, the same day Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery premieres on Netflix. Daniel Craig reprises his role as detective Benoit Blanc in the sequel, and this time the cast includes such big names as Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. Some of the cast even tried the ice cream flavor for a YouTube video, if you want to see more reactions than just mine!

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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is a pop culture junkie and the co-author of Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops and The Totally Sweet '90s. She covers TV, movies, books and pop culture, as well as food news of all kinds. Gael is a weblog pioneer who started her first blog, Pop Culture Junk Mail, in 1999.