Does Pesto Ice Cream Really Exist?

A tub of Filippo Berio Pesto Ice Cream

Fashion designer, entrepreneur, and Sunday Times bestselling author Anya Hindmarch was behind a London-based pop-up concept store called The Ice Cream Project. The shop featured a range of ice creams inspired by and containing some of her favourite food brands. The one that immediately caught our eye was their Filippo Berry pesto ice cream, which contained 6% actual pesto from the New Jersey-based company.

Pesto Ice Cream Is Just One Wacky Flavour

The pop-up store returned for its third year in June 2024, selling a madcap collection of fifteen flavours of ice cream and sorbets. Joining pesto ice cream were Branston Piccalilli, Kikkoman soy sauce, and Perelló olive-inspired treats.

A tub of Filippo Berio pesto ice cream

Why Previous Pesto Ice Cream Attempts Failed

The concept of pesto ice cream is nothing new, although most attempts have failed to get the public's attention, primarily because they were just plain vanilla ice cream with some basil extract added. Australian company Elato even thought the whole concept was so beyond belief that they ran an April Fool's joke all about it.

The Ice Cream Project's Filippo Berio ice cream, however, was the real deal. Each tub contained 6% real pesto, meaning olive oil, nuts, cheese, basil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts all made their way into the frozen delight.

Tubs of ice creams tasting of famous food brands

The Ice Cream Project's line-up of small-batch ice creams also included Sun-Pat Peanut Butter, Sarson's Vinegar, and Heinz Baked Beans, all made by an undisclosed producer from Devon. Each flavour cost £4.50 a scoop or £16 a tub, and adventurous eaters could try all the flavours in one sitting with the pop-up store's tasting menu.

Filippo Berio's Pesto Ice Cream Ingredients

Whole Milk
Double cream
Egg yolk
Milk protein
Locust bean gum
Filippo Berio Pesto (6%)
     Olive oil
     Sunflower oil
     Cashew nuts
     Potato flakes
     Grana Padano
     Extra virgin olive oil
     Pecorino Romano
     Pine nuts
     Acidity regulator
     Lactic acid

Anya Hindmarch's Ice Cream Project Logo

Past flavours have included Polo mints, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Many visitors to the store have described how the outlandish flavours are strangely enjoyable and say that they somehow just work even though they really shouldn't.