The Unframed Ice Cream shop in Cape Town, South Africa recently unveiled a vegan ice cream flavor that features Lion’s Mane mushrooms. The innovative flavor was developed by owner Yann Rey, with the help of US-based superfoods company Four Sigmatic’s mushroom powder, to which he added non-dairy milk, star anise, mint, stevia, and swirls of orange marmalade from local company Olive Branch Deli. While the shop often features vegan flavors, the Lion’s Mane offering was developed to highlight the mushroom’s health benefits—such as boosting cognitive abilities, improving fatigue, easing symptoms of depression, and boosting immune function. Currently, Rey is focusing on developing more vegan flavors that are indistinguishable from the shop’s dairy offerings. “We’re talking to two demographics [customers seeking dairy and those seeking non-dairy] that don’t interact very much,” Rey said. “So it’s pretty fun to blur the lines and bring them together.” The mushroom flavor sold out during the last week of May, but its popularity means Rey will soon put it back onto the menu—along with twelve to fifteen new flavors.
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