Van Leeuwen’s Latest Ice Cream Flavor Celebrates Popeye's 90th Birthday
If you’ve ever seen a Popeye cartoon, you know that the sailor has a secret ingredient for his big guns—spinach. With the pop of a can and a quick (impressive) guzzle, he becomes incredibly strong and instantly dominates any opponent he’s fighting. It certainly makes the case for eating your vegetables, and Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen ice cream is inclined to agree. The chain announced on Monday that it will debut a limited-edition vegan ice cream called “Popeye’s Fleet Treat” in celebration of New York City’s Fleet Week—an annual event that honors the service of the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard—which runs from Wednesday, May 22 to Tuesday, May 28 this year, as well as the 90th birthday of the famed cartoon sailor man. And of course, true to Popeye’s love for spinach, the ice cream will be flavored with organic spinach.
Before you balk at the idea of spinach ice cream, know that the flavor profile isn’t solely composed of leafy greens. There’s also a nod to Popeye’s wife, Olive Oyl, in the ingredient list (with extra virgin olive oil, naturally); turmeric and sea salt are also involved, along with raw cashew milk, coconut cream, raw organic coconut oil, pure cocoa butter, and organic cane sugar. Van Leeuwen describes “Popeye’s Fleet Treat” as sweet and savory. It definitely seems worth a try, after all, basil gelato is delicious, and spinach and mint pair well together in smoothies, so why shouldn’t the leafy green work in ice cream? (Giant arm muscles, however, are not guaranteed.)
The flavor launched on Monday, and will be available through June 2. If you want to try it, select Van Leeuwen stores are offering the special ice cream, including Hudson Yards, SoHo, and South Street Seaport. (A single scoop is $5.75, double scoops are $7.75, and triple scoops are $9.75.) It’s a great excuse to check out Hudson Yards, if you haven’t already—you can easily get lost in José Andrés’s Mercado Little Spain, sampling different croquetas, jamón and queso, and patatas bravas (we also loved Mar, his on-site seafood restaurant). Or, hit up Momofuku's Kāwi for some kimbap and raw clams—and then top it all off with spinach ice cream, because why not?