Looking for a creative birthday gift? Here's one for you: ice cream . This year, I received seven pints of ice cream for my birthday. Yes, seven. Now, two of those pints were your classic, beloved Sprinkles ice cream from two of my best friends, but the other five were far from ordinary: they were from Salt & Straw.
My aunt, a Pacific Northwesterner at heart, sent me five pints of this Portland-based ice cream that uses local ingredients to create dope products. Though the flavors, upon first glance, can seem a little bit too weird to eat with a spoon, I am now 100% a Salt & Straw convert.There really is no way to truly describe these flavors of ice cream unless you taste them for yourself. From white toast and apple butter to bone marrow and sour cherries, I'll be honest, I was a little intimidated to dig in. Here's the next best thing to digging into a pint of your own: five flavors of Salt & Straw ice cream that will have you placing an online order by the end of this article.
Suavie Island Grape PB+J
When embarking on this Salt & Straw journey, I decided to sit down and taste all the ice cream flavors at once. This way, I could effectively compare them all and get the true Salt & Straw experience, as if I were tasting flavors at one of their Portland locations.
I started by digging into the Sauvie Island Grape PB+J. It sounded like a safe place to start seeing as a PB+J is virtually the most iconic sandwich of everyone's generation. My first bite was only met by vanilla ice cream, but the next one was out-of-this-world cool. There is quite literally peanut butter and grape jelly that tastes like Welch's grape juice in the best of ways mixed into this pint of ice cream.
I was never a PB+J girl as a kid, but this ice cream may or may not have converted me.
Oregon Honeyed Rocky Road
My problem with most rocky road ice cream is that there is way too much stuff mixed in there. I'm sorry, but if I am ordering myself a scoop of ice cream, I expect there to be more than just store-bought marshmallows and hundreds of nuts mixed into the saddest amount of chocolate.
Not to be dramatic, but this rocky road blew every other rocky road out of the water, maybe even out of the ocean. Picture huge homemade marshmallows (mind you, they aren't stale and hard as a rock) combined with large pieces of walnuts in a super rich chocolate ice cream with hints of honey. That, my friends, is what rocky road should taste like.
Now, I may be biased seeing as walnuts are a major part of my college snacking life and homemade marshmallows are my family's kryptonite, but this ice cream is quite literally paving the path for a whole new breed of rocky road.
White Toast & Apple Butter
The name of this ice cream is exactly what it tastes like. Picture fall in an ice cream, and you have this white toast and apple butter combination. Lots of cinnamon makes this ice cream taste like apple pie filling, which made me so ready for Thanksgiving pie season. Scoop this onto a piece of pie crust, and you would have apple pie à la mode, just like that.
Sour Cream Fig Pie
Speaking of pie, this ice cream literally has pieces of pie crust mixed in. As the daughter of the so-called "Pie King" among our family friends (aka my dad), this ice cream fulfilled all my hopes and dreams in just one pint. This ice cream could easily get too sweet with the pie crust and figs, but the sour cream ice cream base makes it a little less sweet and a little more sour. Not to play favorites, but Salt & Straw really hit it out of the park with this one.
Bone Marrow & Sour Cherries
Last, but not least: bone marrow and sour cherries. I was incredibly hesitant to try an ice cream that had the word bone marrow in the flavor. I mean, isn't ice cream supposed to be sweet, not savory?
I saved this bone marrow and sour cherries ice cream for last, one, because I knew if I hated it I could go back and refresh my palate with my favorite pint and, two, because I was definitely scared to dig in. After my first spoonful, I was shocked. I think I can say I am officially a savory ice cream convert.
The bone marrow made the ice cream especially salty, which I definitely wasn't expecting, but kind of loved, and the sour cherries added a fruitiness that was necessary after a bite of meat-flavored ice cream. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if this ice cream showed up on the appetizer menus of trendy restaurants around the country, and, to be really honest, I would probably order it.
If you aren't online right now placing your order or signing up for Pints Club, I don't know what's stopping you, but I can tell you without a doubt that this ice cream is worth trying.