With summer very nearly upon us, it’s time to break out the cold foods like kakigori, Garigari-kun, and, of course, ice cream. Even now, as we struggle through the rainy season and moisture hangs in the air, there’s little in this world as wonderful a giant bowl of strawberry ice cream.
If you’re in Tokyo like we are, there are plenty of places and reasons for gobbling up a chilly bowl of sweet ice cream–and the same is certainly true for the Philippines as well. However, while Tokyo may have some of the best restaurants in the world, Davao City in the Philippines has something Tokyo does not–crocodile ice cream. Don’t worry, though–it won’t bite back!
While ice cream is often made with eggs, those eggs typically come from chickens. But when your shop is right next door to an actual crocodile park, it turns out to be just as easy to make crocodile ice cream. Of course, there aren’t too many crocodile parks in the world, so you’ll have a hard time finding such a delicacy–unless you head to Sweet Spot Artisan Ice Cream in the Philippines.
Located right next to Davao Crocodile Park, home to the late Lolong the world’s longest captive crocodile, Sweet Spot Artisan Ice Cream gets eggs directly from the park and uses them for their specialty crocodile ice cream. According to Sweet Spot, crocodile eggs are 80 percent yolk and much more nutritious than chicken’s eggs, making it a healthier choice. Apparently the store got its start after its owners, the husband-and-wife team of Dino and Bianca, received some crocodile eggs from Dino’s uncle, the owner of Davao Crocodile Park.
At a loss for what to do with the eggs, Dino tried making ice cream–and the couple found themselves with a delicious treat on their hands. Since the ice cream is “artisan,” every batch is made by hand and includes a variety of flavors made by mixing in fruit. Of course, they don’t only sell crocodile ice cream–normal chicken-egg ice cream, in a variety of flavors, is also available.
So far, it seems that the store has been getting quite a bit of attention both locally and from foreign tourists, with many people enjoying the rare ice cream. But we have to wonder if it’s a good idea–after all, the crocodiles of the Philippines are critically endangered and their habitat is disappearing rapidly. On the other hand, we assume that the eggs the Sweet Spot receives are the excess and probably would not be hatched anyway. But this brings us to another concern.
As we discussed last week, zoos aren’t always the healthiest places for the animals. While the park is intended to help with conservation of the crocodiles, considering some of the issues raised by Lolong’s death in 2013, we have to wonder if the park is the best way to preserve these creatures. On the other hand, it may simply be that this is the only way to save the crocodiles from extinction–and the park is making an effort at real conservation. Though a private organization, Davao Crocodile Park is taking part in a conservation program where crocodiles are raised in captivity and then released into a protected sanctuary.
All-in-all, the best we can do is applaud conservation efforts and hope that living conditions for the crocodiles are adequate. And maybe get some ice cream to take our mind off things!