Bacon ice cream? Seriously? Yes, unusual flavor combinations like this are hot in the world of frozen treats.

According to the Associated Press, forget about dithering over the merits of chocolate vs. vanilla ice cream this summer. Instead consider a dish of ale and bacon ice cream. “The inside scoop on ice cream this summer is classic meets culinary avant garde

For instance, at Salt and Straw Ice Cream in Portland, Ore., other flavors will include pear and blue cheese, lemon basil with sorbet and sea salt with ribbons of hand-made caramel. And that’s just the offerings from one shop.

In Wisconsin, farmstead ice cream is one of the hottest value-added trends to hit the state, according to the Dairy Business Innovation Center. A number of on-farm ice cream processing facilities have popped up across the state in recent years, adding a bounty of flavors to tempt consumer palates. Kelley Country Creamery, near Fond du Lac, Wis., for example, offers a huge menu of flavors that change with the seasons and produced from the family’s 65-cow herd.

The International Dairy Foods Association reports that ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90 percent of households in the United States. Based on ice cream consumption figures, the top five individual flavors in terms of share of segment in the United States are: vanilla (27.8 percent), chocolate (14.3 percent), strawberry (3.3 percent), chocolate chip (3.3 percent) and butter pecan (2.8 percent). 

The U.S. ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream.