Friday, November 26, 2021

A Scoop of Seasonal Flavors - Thanksgiving Ice Cream

Salt & Straw Friendsgiving Ice Cream Pack
I have been super into Thanksgiving flavors this year, more than ever before. Normally I try and restrict my food purchases to in-person only, but these flavors sounded so perfect and fed right into my cravings. So I made an exception. 
This is the first time I have ever bought fancy ice cream from the internet. (They're available locally as a normal shop, but no where near me.) There were five different flavors in this release, and they came packaged in a recyclable cardboard box, with insulation that I am using in one of my winter cat shelters, and dry ice. Dry ice is so cool, and I have never gotten to play with it before, so I tossed some into a bowl full of water and added food dye to make fun videos on Instagram. 
I haven't had a spoonful yet, and I am already getting my money's worth out of this purchase. Let's jump right in. 

Pumpkin and Gingersnap Pie (vegan) - So this is vegan, which was really surprising since it still manages to be so creamy. This flavor is very spice-forward, with lots of ginger, brown sugar, and cloves. Even though pumpkin takes top billing, and it looks very orange in color, I would say the ginger is the star of the show. You still get a creamy, earthy, squash-y goodness from the pumpkin, which comes forward after a few spoonfuls, when the spiciness has dies down. It's warm, spicy, and delicious, a lot like those Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls I got from Trader Joe's Ages ago. But vegan! 

Parker House Rolls with Salted Buttercream
- Buttered roll flavored ice cream sounds quirky, but it's so SO good. Sweet Hawaiian rolls, soaked in cream , churned into ice cream with little nuggets of sweet rolls and chunks of salted buttercream. It's yummy. If you've achieved Paula Deen-like levels of butter appreciation, this is for you. It's certainly for me. I love this. Decadent, creamy, and comforting. It might be a bit too buttery for some, but it's actually my favorite. 

Caramelized Turkey and Cranberry Sauce
- Another flavor that at first glance sounds weird, turkey ice cream? But it's actually caramelized turkey bacon! So turkey bacon bits with hints of herbs, covered in what is pretty much a layer of sugary brittle, meets delicious, tangy, and slightly tart cranberry sauce. This is decadent and hits almost every flavor description imaginable. Sweet, savory, smoky, salty, herby, tangy, tart, fruity... there is a lot going on in this pint. While I do really enjoy it, at times the bacon is a little much for me. However, I do find myself asking, why haven't we put cranberry in ice cream more often? The cranberry bits are my favorite and I find myself seeking them out every time I reach for my spoon. The cranberry also softens faster than the ice cream base making it feel almost like a topping. If you have vanilla ice cream and cranberry sauce in your fridge right now, do yourself a favor and make a sundae. Right now. And thank me later. 

Candied Walnut Cheesecake
- Normally I am not a nut-person, so at first taste this reminds me of oatmeal, but it's actually really walnut-heavy. Creamy, sweet, but not overly sweet, and nutty. It's more walnut-forward until you hit a chunk of sugary graham cracker crumble or a chuck of creamy, rich, cheesecake. From what I can tell the cheesecake was a pretty big chunk to one side of the pint, not really mixed in bits, but I didn't mind. For someone who isn't into walnuts, or cheesecake, this is really freaking yummy. Without the cheesecake bits, it reminds me of a creamier version of Ben and Jerry's Oat of this Swirled. If you really like walnuts, you'd love this. 

Sweet Potato Pie with Double Baked Almond Streusel
- This name does not do this flavor justice. This should actually be named, "sweet potato ice cream with chewy, buttery, almond streusel croissant bits." Man, this starts out creamy, and sweet, with a lovely sweet potato, nutmeg and cinnamon flavor. The ice cream may be cold, but the flavor profile is warm and cozy. Then you get chewy little bits of buttery, almond-y, croissant. I absolutely love this chewy texture, and while I like sweet potatoes, I LOVE almond croissants. Another stellar flavor. 

This was a (semi) impulsive buy, and compared to ice cream I could just pick up at the corner store, it was expensive, but I regret NOTHING. Every flavor is a winner. They're complex, interesting, layered, and perfect for the season. I'd even argue that most of these would be great year-round. But my number one picks would be the Parker House Rolls and Sweet Potato Pie. I will definitely miss these once they're gone, and they're nothing else out there like them. Fingers crossed we seem them again next year.   

Fans of these would also like:
Pumpkin Ginger Mouthfuls, Thanksgiving Ravioli, Turkey and Stuffing Potato Chips, Thanksgiving Candles, or Jelly Belly Holiday Favorites

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