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Hoke

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Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Hoke » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:12 pm

There's a new rave in Portland. Enormously popular ice cream stores called Salt and Straw. Really great people producing some tasty ice creams. Not afraid to deal with flavor intensity and unusual ingredients.

They do a Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Black Pepper that is awesome. The black pepper is not all that forward, but it enhances the sweetness of the local strawberries beautifully. Also make a local Arbequina Olive Oil ice cream and a Pear and Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese ice cream that are standouts.

If you're travelling through the Portland area and you're an ice cream fanatic, these places are worth a stop.

http://saltandstraw.com/
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:57 pm

Thanks, Hoke. I never understood the craze for olive oil ice cream... I've tried a few and meh.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Hoke » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Thanks, Hoke. I never understood the craze for olive oil ice cream... I've tried a few and meh.


Jeff, I think it comes down to two things:

1) The specific type of olive used. The arbequina has that combination of butteriness and tangy spiciness that allows it to work in the ice cream.

2) Even the Salt and Straw version is something I would eat only very occasionally, as a rare delectable.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Hoke » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:11 pm

One neat thing about S&S is they are not afraid of trying things, and are perfectly willing to come up with small batch and experimental batches for different venue/clientele.

Went to a spirits and culinary show where they featured a foie gras ice cream. Some liked it; some didn't. I didn't. The head ice cream guy----a great guy, by the way, and he has invited me over to their test kitchen---loves to work with chefs and with imaginative bartenders to come up with interesting concoctions.

I like that imaginative/creative mode. And it yields some intriguing confections.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:26 pm


Sounds more than a little like Louisville's popular Comfy Cow, with maybe a touch of added Porllandian hipness. :mrgreen:

http://thecomfycow.com/store/pages/97/R ... avors.html
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Rahsaan

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Rahsaan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:29 pm

I do like the style of these places, although some of the flavors are more interesting than desirable for an entire cone for me. I finally went to our local iteration this weekend: http://theparlourdurham.com/ and was very impressed with the overall aesthetic and philosophy. Most of the interesting flavors that I wanted to try were already out for the day. I did taste cilantro with with lime curd and it was a new type of experience that was delicious, although best for me to appreciate in small doses.

Still, I prefer these places 1000x to all the other places I've found around here that seem to pride themselves on doing ice cream version of crappy American candies and snacks: i.e. creamsicle, Milky Way. Ben and Jerry's is almost laughable because I went in there the other day and they must have 100 flavors but the only one I could bring myself to even partially desire was vanilla.

So, more power to these Salt and Straw folks.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Hoke » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:15 pm

Rahsaan, I believe this is just another example of the artisanal impulse over the industrial.

Small operation, passionate and energetic people who want to do things with individuality and style, who are content (for the moment, at least) to do things the 'small batch' way with a focus on imagination and creativity and quality.

Of course, with the success and age, the motivating impulse could change; the biz could grow and expand and become industrial grade with many outlets; the founders could sell and the biz could be a franchise behemoth. Then we'd have to go out and find another artisan concept. But that's okay. Right now I'm just enjoying Salt and Straw for what they are.

I remember when I first moved to Seattle, Starbuck's was this kind of outfit in Pike Place Market. Now look at them. (Difference is, now I can get a decent cup of coffee at a lot of coffee joints that never would've existed without Starbucks and Peets.) I suspect Ben and Jerry's were similar at start up too.
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:38 pm

Yes: http://www.benjerry.com/company/history

Among national brands that you can get in any store freezer, Ben and Jerry's is pretty good. Not a lick on artisanal stuff, of course, but you're comparing apples and oranges.
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Jon Peterson

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Jon Peterson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:26 pm

Hoke wrote:There's a new rave in Portland. Enormously popular ice cream stores called Salt and Straw. Really great people producing some tasty ice creams.


Well, I'm glad I don't live within 100 miles of Portland, OR. I'd be 500 pounds and broke! I worship Ice Cream!
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Rahsaan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:59 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Yes: http://www.benjerry.com/company/history

Among national brands that you can get in any store freezer, Ben and Jerry's is pretty good. Not a lick on artisanal stuff, of course, but you're comparing apples and oranges.


Sure, although my big complaint with B&J is the aesthetic, I just find their flavor approach to be horrid. And there are plenty of small artisanal companies around here that fall into the 'silly candy' flavor territory.

But otherwise, I agree that artisanal with a flavor aesthetic to match my palate is the perfect combination!

(Although FWIW, Grom seems to be an international 'chain' but they have offered more reliably delicious and nuanced ice creams than anything else I've tried in the past few years. Not to mention they are very attentive to texture and each flavor has different textures to suit the delivery of those ingredients. Something all too many places fail to comprehend).
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:47 pm

We've been buying Talenti ice cream from a couple of different stores here. They make a salted caramel that's probably the best mass market ice cream I've ever had.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Robin Garr » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:09 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:salted caramel

That was Comfy Cow's signature ice cream from Day One, and their declaration of independence from the local and regional competition. I could use a cup of it right now.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:00 pm

Hoke, Saturday, a show on the Cooking channel called Unique Sweets featured the Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company. They had a nice presentation with the owner speaking and discussions on how they got started with the crazy combos of ice cream. One that really grabbed my attention was the Cream of Bone Marrow with Cherries. They actually showed how they remove the marrow from the cooked bones. Also on the line up was Beer Butterscotch Bread Pudding ice cream, and Sweet Sticky Rice with Caramelized Banana Ice Cream. This place would drive both of us nuts if here in Redding...we are big fans of ice cream. Gene sticks with Vanilla Bean most times, but I am the adventurous one and love the flavor combos.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Rahsaan » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:20 pm

Speaking of great local ice cream, I was in Chicago over the weekend and was blown away by Black Dog Gelato http://blackdogchicago.com/. Rich and intense but so light and graceful. Interesting flavors, but all in good taste. It was hard not to get multiple cones!

I had the lemon/lavender and sesame/fig/chocolate chip. Perfect.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Hoke » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Karen, I sampled the bone marrow ice cream and it was pretty damn tasty. Salt & Straw had it at a spirits/wine festival and the people were lapping it up. They do small batch stuff that may or may not make it into the stores, and they might never batch again, so you never know.

We have another local made-in-store ice cream shop in our neighborhood, and the ice cream there is totally different: some inventive and creative flavor combinations, but the texture is much heavier and the overall ice cream is grainier with a more milky than cream-y taste. Good, but not blow me away good. The grandkids love it though.

Rahsaan, your shop sounds interesting. The sesame/fig/choco sounds like something I would definitely try.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:10 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
I had the lemon/lavender and sesame/fig/chocolate chip. Perfect.


Was that done with fresh or dried figs? Sounds very interesting.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Rahsaan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:27 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Rahsaan wrote:
I had the lemon/lavender and sesame/fig/chocolate chip. Perfect.


Was that done with fresh or dried figs? Sounds very interesting.


The main thing I noticed was the bits of dried figs in the ice cream itself, giving the deep rich sweetness. But there were lots of intense yet delicate layers of flavor (the sesame notes worked really well) so I wouldn't put it past them to have another element of fig in the actual base. I don't know.

For fresh figs, my above-mentioned Grom does a wonderful version that I used to get as much as possible when living in Nyc.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Brian K Miller » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:23 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:We've been buying Talenti ice cream from a couple of different stores here. They make a salted caramel that's probably the best mass market ice cream I've ever had.


Love Talenti.

Nugget is carrying a new brand from The Latest Scoop out of Berkeley...their Mexican Chocolate is to die for.

Although...you can just head over to 19th Street, Mike. Nothing beats Devine Gelateria's Whiskey-Raspberrry-Chocolate!

In San Francisco, Humphrey Slocumbe (named after the awesomely bad British Sitcom characters) has "beer week" with ice cream featuring different beer flavors.
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Re: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Company

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:12 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:We've been buying Talenti ice cream from a couple of different stores here. They make a salted caramel that's probably the best mass market ice cream I've ever had.


Love Talenti.

Nugget is carrying a new brand from The Latest Scoop out of Berkeley...their Mexican Chocolate is to die for.

Although...you can just head over to 19th Street, Mike. Nothing beats Devine Gelateria's Whiskey-Raspberrry-Chocolate!

In San Francisco, Humphrey Slocumbe (named after the awesomely bad British Sitcom characters) has "beer week" with ice cream featuring different beer flavors.


Geez, thanks a lot, Brian. All I need is a wealth of new and excellent ice creams! :wink:

I still haven't been to Devine. Gotta get over there.
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