What's The Actual Flavor Of Rocky Road Ice Cream?

For a majority of ice creams, what they taste like is literally in the name. Vanilla tastes like vanilla, chocolate tastes like chocolate, and you'd be really surprised to learn what strawberry tastes like. But there is at least one ice cream that breaks away from this trend: Rocky Road.

Rocky Road ice cream is, at its most basic, chocolate ice cream with marshmallow swirls and roasted almonds. It's effectively an ice cream sundae — ice cream, nuts, and a topping — all combined into one scoop. But while we know the ingredients, the problem is identifying what the flavor of Rocky Road is. Since the flavor itself is made up of three different flavors, how can you effectively describe its taste? Is it closer to chocolate ice cream? Is marshmallow the most notable flavor? Or do the salty roasted almonds take center stage?

It seems that if we want a general consensus as to what Rocky Road ice cream actually tastes like, we'll have to see what the public thinks.

Many agree that chocolate is the key flavor

While marshmallows and almonds do make up two of the three parts needed to make a classic Rocky Road, most people would agree that the overwhelming flavor of the ice cream is chocolate. Not only is chocolate a classic ice cream flavor by itself, but it also forms the foundation of Rocky Road. As ice cream purveyor FatBoy notes: the "smooth, creamy chocolate is starkly contrasted by the soft marshmallows and chewy nuts."

Surprisingly, Rocky Road ice cream shares its name with another dessert, a candy bar. According to Old Time Candy, the Rocky Road candy bar was invented by Annabelle Candy Company owner Sam Altshuler in 1950. Although the ice cream and candy bar are unrelated, the candy bar consists of marshmallows and cashews covered by a layer of chocolate, similar to the ice cream flavor. But while the Annabelle Candy Company is credited with inventing the Rocky Road bar, one of the purported origin stories about Rocky Road ice cream claims that a candy maker in Oakland, California, created it.

The first Rocky Road was made using a chocolate bar

According to Mental Floss, the story of the first Rocky Road ice cream begins at the historic Fentons Creamery in Oakland, California. Confectioner George Farren was working at the ice cream parlor and came up with the idea to blend a chocolate bar together with ice cream, making an early version of Rocky Road. The story also goes that Joseph Edy, a friend of Farren and candy maker, found himself so inspired by Farren's creation that he allegedly stole it and refined it until he made the first modern Rocky Road ice cream.

However, this is only one of several supposed Rocky Road ice cream origin stories. Mental Floss even notes that, in 1920, a recipe for a "Rocky Road" ice cream appeared in a Kansas recipe book. This version of the ice cream still used chocolate ice cream as a base but called for honey-flavored whipped cream, almond macaroons, pecans, walnuts, and a cherry. This complicates the ice cream's history, as no one can identify who, if anyone, deserves sole credit for its invention.

Although the history of Rocky Road remains a bit "rocky" as to who created it, there's no denying that it still ranks as one of the most popular ice cream flavors for many Americans.