Quick, which animal is known as the “ship of the desert”? If your answer was camel, give yourself a big pat on the back. Question two. Which animal is known as the “ice cream parlor of the desert”? Again, the answer is camel.
Alright, that second question is unfair since no one really calls the camel the “ice cream parlor of the desert,” and the camel hasn’t ever been associated with ice cream until recently — and only in a very specific part of the world.
Camel milk ice cream has been available in Arab countries for a little while, but only recently found fans in western markets thanks to Dutch farmer, Frank Smits. Farmer Smits decided to open a camel farm in 2006 causing a few jaws to drop among neighboring dairy farmers.
In an effort to find uses for his camel milk, Farmer Smits experimented with ice cream recipes. To his formerly bemused neighbors’ delight, it was delicious. Word of the camel milk ice cream made its way to a British manufacturer who is now using Farmer Smits’ camel milk to make ice cream and sell it in the United Kingdom.
If you’re looking for camel milk ice cream in the United States, you may be out of luck. I did find one camel farm dairy, but it doesn’t appear that they offer ice cream.