Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Oops, I did it Again - I bought $85.00 Worth of Ice Cream

Salt & Straw Summer Picnic Series (5 Flavors)

Salt & Straw ice cream flavors always sound fantastic, but I try not to buy food online because it's expensive. Then, last fall, their Thanksgiving themed 5-pack was just too intriguing to resist. I treated myself to 5 pints of ice cream for $85.00. A pricey payout, BUT every single flavor was amazing and it taught me that cranberry sauce is criminally underused in the ice cream world. 

I was so happy with all 5 of those flavors, that when I saw a similarly intriguing summer picnic themed drop, I did it again. I spent another $85.00 on 5 pints of ice cream. 

This time the flavors are: Pink Rose & Watermelon Sorbet, Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake, Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie, (plus the two I am most excited about) Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken, and Deviled Egg Custard with Smoked Black Tea. 

Innovation is where Salt & Straw really shines. I loved the combination of salty turkey bacon and tangy cranberry sauce mixed with ice cream, so I am very excited to see if the fried chicken flavor will be equally delicious.  


Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken
- Salted vanilla ice cream , secret spices, and bits of croissant deep-fried in chicken fat. 

The number one reason why I bought this pack. This combination sounded like a summer-version of the turkey bacon and cranberry sauce ice cream I so loved in the fall. I was very intrigued and excited to try another sweet and savory pint, and this one did not disappoint. 

The base immediately reminds me of breakfast.  We're talking Cinnamon Toast Crunch vibes, complete with milk, but topped with a healthy dash of salt. It's sweet, salty, and really addicting. It makes me want to add salt to my cereal. After a few seconds, you detect a sweet, honey, after taste. I know honey was in the pint's name, but it wasn't listed in the description as to where it is in the pint. Is it a swirl? A mix in? Or just in the general base? Even after several spoonfuls, I am not entirely sure. It's definitely there, and sometimes I taste it more strongly than others, but I don't -see- it. The base is delicious, but the star of the show are the fried croissant bits. They buttery, savory, and almost meaty. Kind of like crispy chicken skin, but with oodles of butter and a biscuit-like texture. These mix0ins stay varying degrees of crisp even in the ice cream base, and they're very plentiful. 

I really love that they went with spices and honey, and not just maple syrup. I am very much over chicken and waffles, and will happily embrace chicken and Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead.  

As far as innovation, this pint is the best, but another flavor beat it for my overall taste-based favorite.

Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie
- Single origin chocolate ice cream spiked with Nocino (3-year aged green walnut liqueur) brandy and hunks of rustic cherry slab pie.

I was completely unfamiliar with Nocino before buying this pint, apparently it's a walnut based liqueur. And boy, does this taste like it. 

At first spoonful, this made me think of chocolate covered soft gingerbread from Germany. It's sweet, but not overly sweet, spiced, and nutty with just a hint of cocoa. Not at all what I expected. I thought chocolate and cherry would be at the forefront, but it's more like nutty with a chocolate chaser. As for the cherry slab pie, I love cherries, but I found myself digging for them. About halfway down the pint I started to get some cherry pie bits, but nothing as plentiful as I had seen on the online photos. That said, when I do find a treasure trove of cherry pie, I like this flavor a lot. The fruity cherries really brighten things up, and the crust is deliciously buttery, but they are few and far between. Unless all my cherry pie sank to the bottom, this is more-so chocolate Nocino than anything else, and since I am not big on walnuts, or booze, this was actually my least favorite pint of the bunch. But it's all about personal preferences. I bet you dollars to doughnuts my very Italian step-dad would be over the moon for this one. Me? Not so much. 

Deviled Egg Custard w/ Smoked Black Tea
- Egg yolk custard laced with Kala Namak (an umami-rich black salt), studded with crumbles of smoked tea-infused shortbread, and a balsamic white marshmallow fluff.

Without knowing all the nuances to this pint, I would describe it as a salty, smoked, egg custard. 

I've never had anything like this before. The base is rich, sweet and a eggy. If you've ever made pudding from scratch (or crème brûlée,) you need to be careful not to let the eggs cook too quickly or else instead of a creamy dessert, you get dessert-flavored scrambled eggs. This ice cream base is dessert scrambled eggs, not in texture, but in flavor. It's unique, and savory thanks to the salt. I'm into it. The shortbread pieces have a drier consistency than cookie dough ice cream mix-ins, and they smoky. Very smoky. I get the complexity of tea towards the end, but it's almost like you set the tea on fire and made cookies with the ashes. Different, but not bad. When mixed with the creamy base it works really well. As for the balsamic fluff, I had a very had time finding it. Visually it mixes in with everything else, but every now and then I would taste balsamic vinegar. I love vinegar, and am one of those weirdos who can drink it right from the bottle. So that was hands down my favorite part. The sweet but tangy vinegar mixed with the smoked cookie bits and salty custard all worked out. While unique, this pint was not my favorite. I'll have no trouble finishing it, but I wouldn't buy it again as a stand alone flavor. 

Pink Rosé & Watermelon Sorbet (v)
- Ripe watermelon and Rosé punch blended in an ice cream maker, with a drizzle of homemade raspberry rosé jam.

As I said before, I am not a big drinker, but I do love watermelon and raspberry. I really hoped the fruity flavors would overpower the booziness of this one, and it actually kind of does! 

The base is light and refreshing with an impressive, creamy, mouth-feel. It's watermelon-like, but elevated. There couldn't be a better (adult) sorbet for summer. Even though you can definitely taste the wine, I like it! 

Unlike the Chocolate Nocino, this one has large puddles of it's fruity mix-in. On it's own, the jam is bright, and slightly's delicious. Possibly the best raspberry jam I have ever had. Combined with the subtly sweet watermelon base, this is fantastic. Light, sweet, tart, fruity, and refreshing. I would buy this year-round, but it is perfect for summer. Plus, this looks AND tastes fancy. It would be amazing to scoop into actual cocktails and serve to friends.   

Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake
- Whipped brie cheesecake baked on a candied Ritz cracker crust with dark ribbons of sweet, thick fig jam.

After the chicken themed ice cream pint, this was the other one that piqued my interest. I love figs, and I love cheese, and I am very excited to see how they would combine into a sweet and "slightly funky" ice cream. 

One bite, and I was in love. The base is sweet and creamy, with what seems to be tiny hunks of brie (or brie-cheesecake) mixed throughout with a healthy amount of fig for good measure. It's sweet, but not overly sweet, creamy, buttery, fruity, and savory. Like a dessert themed charcuterie board, turned into ice cream. 

While Ritz crackers don't get top billing in the name of the pint, they really are the glue that brings all of these flavors together. Again, like a charcuterie board. You have rich, buttery, crackers, sweet cream, fig jam, and a hit of nutty, complex, brie.

It's like grown up chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. 

In case you were waiting with baited breath, Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake is my favorite. Chicken and watermelon may tie for second, but this is the flavor I am going to deeply miss when it is gone, because I haven't tasted anything else like it. The only thing that could make it better is somehow working in a savory, meaty element and going full charcuterie. Like, candied pepperoni or something. 

This was another great pack of ice creams, ranking them from favorite to least, my picks are:

    1. Baked Brie & Fig Cheese Cake
    2. Pink Rose & Watermelon Sorbet -tied with- Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken 
    3. Deviled Egg Custard with Smoked Black Tea 
    4. Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie  


Would I buy this whole pack again? Probably not, but definitely my top three flavors. I hope to see them return in the future, especially my beloved Brie and Fig pint. 

 If you like these, you'd also like: Salt & Straw Thanksgiving Pints

Keep Up with My Adventures on Social Media!  

No comments:

Post a Comment