One more thing to make you pine for warmer days: Salt & Straw has released its flavor "series" for 2014, to be released in three phases at the beginning of June, July, and August. And yes I am looking at a press release for limited-edition gourmet ice cream flavors.
June is focused on cocktail inspired collaborations with some of the city's most lauded mixologists, because of course it is. These include flavors inspired by Brandon Wise of Imperial, Ross Hunsinger at Portland’s Aviary, Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common, Kyle Webster of Expatriate, and Evan Zimmerman of The Woodsman Tavern, are are the most plausible sounding. "Lemon Amaretto Sour Sherbet" and "Rhubarb & Saffron Champagne Cocktail" sound interesting, but they don't boggle the imagination.
Moving on to July, things get more daring. Seizing on the Oregon berry season, S&S combines famously fantastic Oregon summer produce like strawberries and blackberries—working with area farms and fruit stands, obviously—and takes them to the unlikely places you come to expect not to expect, like "Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero" ice cream and "Black Raspberries and Pork Belly."
The late summer menu starts to sort of devolve out of specificity other than "produce," but has some intriguing submissions nonetheless, like "Tomato Water Olive Oil Sherbet" (which sounds awesome to me), "Melon & Prosciutto Ice Cream," and "Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherries."
Complete descriptions of the entire series are pasted up behind this here break.
June Summer Cocktail Ice Cream Flavors
Chocolate Chip Mint Julep
This flavor blends together an ice cream world favorite with a classic cocktail, mint, bourbon and chocolate ice cream. Combining these delicious ingredients all together was, to Brandon Wise of Imperial, a no brainer. In execution, you find Oregon roasted single-origin chocolate, Oregon grown spearmint, and a hand-selected batch of bourbon from Four Roses Distilling. This flavor truly shines as the perfect marriage of a Brandon Wise mixing experience with Salt & Straw’s kitchen full of yummy Oregon ingredients.
Strawberry & Verbena Pimm's Cup
A sweet and bitter, citrusy pop in the mouth. Working closely with Ross Hunsinger at Portland’s Aviary, this ice cream taps into his bag of flavor manipulation techniques to create a subtly bright strawberry and fresh lemon verbena ice cream. The real inspiration is a Gin marmalade that spikes on the palate with a strong hit of Portland-distilled Aviation Gin.
Lemon Amaretto Sour Sherbet
When asked what cocktail is nostalgically summery to him, Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common smiled and made us an Amaretto Sour. Capturing that childish smile in a scoop... it’s hard to taste this flavor without a grin. Eye opening punches of lemon egg cream top off an intensely fruity amaretto sherbet in this delicious combination. At home, dare to go the extra mile with a shot of cask-proof bourbon poured over the top.
Pineapple Honey Dorléac
We worked closely with Kyle Webster of Expatriate on this cocktail themed ice cream. Both Kyle and Salt & Straw’s Tyler Malek are self-taught with one building cocktails and the other ice creams based off of past experiences and personal flavor exploration. Together, Kyle and Tyler sat down with a case of ingredients ranging from bitters, essential oils, and fruits from every corner of the world and began riffing. The result: A honey, vodka, and aperol ice cream based off of Kyle’s own Dorléac recipe paired with a gentle ribbon of pineapple caramel.
Rhubarb & Saffron Champagne Cocktail
With the background of a pastry chef, Evan Zimmerman of The Woodsman Tavern crafts cocktails that make more sense from a chef’s perspective than from your average bartender. In a combination that carefully combines only a few delicate flavors, this ice cream is subtly yeasty from the champagne with a tart and carefully flavored ribbon of saffron and rhubarb jelly. A combination reminiscent of that perfect summer-fresh rhubarb spritzer.
July Oregon Berry Flavors
Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake
This Summer, we are getting thousands of pounds of strawberries from Deep Roots Farm, located in Albany, OR. These strawberries are picked and delivered the same day we use them, creating a strawberry ice cream that is as fresh as it is delicious!
Birthday Cakes and Blackberries
Frosting flavored ice cream with ribbons of cake and blackberry jam. This blackberry jam is extra special because it uses Evergreen Blackberries from the Willamette Valley. These berries are pitch black in color and wonderfully sweet. With this combo it might as well be everyone’s birthday!
Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero
We got our hands on some of the best goat cheese to come out of the Willamette Valley from Portland's own, Portland Creamery. Using their "Sweet Fire" flavored chevre as inspiration; we churned out a tart goat cheese ice cream and swirled in ribbons of Marionberry Jam that has been infused with habanero peppers.
Summer Cucumber & Raspberry Sorbet
These raspberries, from South Barlow Berries, are bright and tart, the summer cucumbers are bitter and sweet. Each compliments the other so well... a scoop of this sorbet simply makes you smile!
Black Raspberries and Pork Belly
Oregon black raspberries can only be harvested for three weeks out of the year, making for an incredibly rare and unique berry experience. Taking advantage of their deep flavor, we paired these berries with a salty, smoky pork belly ice cream. This ice cream is indulgence at its finest!
Featured Flavors in August and September:
Tomato Water Olive Oil Sherbet
Tomato season in Portland, OR is short…. like four weeks short! But when it comes, we get some of the best tomatoes in the world. It’s almost like the tomatoes know that they will only be at their ripest for a few weeks and they want to make each season completely worth it! We’ve paired these uber-fresh tomatoes with Arbequina Olive Oil from Red Ridge Farms in Dayton, OR and a touch of lemon zest. This flavor is clean, sweet, and one that we will remember all year.
Carrot Watermelon Sorbet
To us, carrots in dessert are kind of a no brainer. We love the sweet, earthy flavors that summer carrots provide, but what we really look for when picking out carrots at the Portland Farmer’s Markets are ones that have a pleasant bitter note to them. Once we find perfectly bitter carrots, we bump up the sweetness with fresh watermelons. This combination leaves us in awe every time we try it!
Melon & Prosciutto Ice Cream
Another great salty-sweet combination provided by Italy. Re-imagining this into an ice cream was destiny for Salt & Straw. We teamed up with Portland’s Olympic Provisions vast array of charcuterie twists and turns through golden, sweet and fresh summer cantaloupe ice cream. A truly beautiful marriage of historical flavors and Portland culinary magic.
Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherries
Unexpected and delightful, slow roasted and clarified bone marrow brings texture, flavor, and depth that has never been found in ice cream. In our kitchens we smoked Oregon Bing Cherries then cured them in spices and Portland distilled bourbon to add depth to this flavor. If you only get to try one flavor of ice cream this year, be sure it’s this one!