Salt & Straw Just Came Out with My New Favorite Ice Cream — And It’s Only Available in June
I have something of a distant fascination with summer picnics. I live near a park, so when the weather allows, I’ll go for a walk through it. Every so often, among the runners and dog walkers and bench sitters, I’ll spot real-deal picnickers. I’m talking about people who’ve packed an actual picnic basket, probably with the gingham lining, full of small bites and bottles of bubbly. It always makes me feel a little bit wistful — although I try not to stare for too long.
So when I learned Salt & Straw was launching its latest ice cream series and it was a tribute to a summer picnic spread and I could try the flavors in advance, I was excited.
The series includes five flavors: Pink Rosé & Watermelon Sorbet (vegan), Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake, Deviled Egg Custard w/ Smoked Black Tea, Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken, and Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie. According to the company, they are intentionally crafted to be enjoyed in that order, which is how I originally sampled them. Later on, though, I did go back and forth between flavors and I must say they were just as good.
Every ice cream flavor conceptualized by Cofounder and Head Ice Cream Innovator, Tyler Malek, is handmade in small batches using organic and sustainable ingredients from local farmers and artisans. The cheesecake in the Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake, for example, is made with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, and the Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie flavor uses single-origin chocolate sourced from Ecuador and a Green Walnut Liqueur from Portland distiller Stone Barn Brandyworks. (Fun fact: The people at Stone Barn source their green walnuts by going door to door and asking neighbors if they can clip them off their walnut trees.)
While I would definitely eat all five again (and again), there was one scoop I devoured almost instantly: Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake!
The base — a salted sweet cream ice cream — is studded with a whipped Brie cheesecake baked onto a candied Ritz Cracker crust and swirled with dark ribbons of fig jam. The sweet honey notes of the fig jam are in perfect balance with the sweet ice cream and ever-so-slightly-tart cheesecake. And that crust! It’s buttery! It’s candied! It’s a little bit crumbly! This is the pint-sized cheese and cracker pairing I didn’t know I needed. And now that I do, I’m ordering it in bulk, which conveniently is how it’s sold (more on that below).
Co-founder and Head Ice Cream Innovator Tyler Malek suspects it will be the best seller of the bunch, and Kitchn Social Media Editor, Andrea Kaufman, also dubbed it her number one. She also said it reminds her of the Brie and fig jam grilled cheese sandwiches she eats.
The pints are sold in bundles of five and are available throughout the month of June. You can order all five summer picnic flavors or mix and match to your liking. You can also grab a scoop at retail locations in Oregon, Washington, California, and Florida, starting June 3.
Which of these flavors are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below.