I scream, you scream, we all scream for today’s food holiday, especially when the flavor is wacky. July 1 is National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day!
It’s also National Ginger Snap Day, but we recently had ginger snaps in honor of National Gingerbread Day. Besides, few treats embody summer as perfectly as ice cream. And in Portland, we’ve got the perfect place to celebrate creative ice cream flavors. There was no resisting this holiday!
Vanilla may be America’s most popular flavor of ice cream, but thanks to companies such as Ben & Jerry’s (“Chunky Monkey,” “Cherry Garcia,” etc.), unusual flavor combinations have become a fun – and increasingly popular – draw for ice cream lovers, particularly during warm summer months. In Portland, Salt & Straw, a “farm-to-cone” ice cream shop perfectly representative of Portland’s food culture and unique vibe, opened their first location a few years ago, and were an instant hit. Not just because they pride themselves on sourcing local, organic, sustainable ingredients, but because of their creative flavors. They change with the seasons, but popular choices include Pear With Bleu Cheese, Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper, Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, and Arbequina Olive Oil. Salt & Straw pairs with local vendors and restaurants for some very clever and unusual flavors. It doesn’t hurt that their ice cream is very creamy and smooth, made with 17% butterfat and very little air in the churning process. It truly is delicious, and has become the city’s newest Voodoo Doughnut, an overnight sensation garnering big press. Both Saveur Magazine and Oprah’s O Magazine have named it one of the best ice cream shops in America, a can’t-miss destination for foodies in the Rose City.
After dinner, we made a beeline for Salt & Straw. Along with everybody else in Portland, apparently. That’s what happens when you cross a sultry summer evening with a trendy boutique ice cream shop. We ended up waiting in a line 40 people deep for about twenty minutes. Well worth it, though. Tara got Chocolate Blueberry Rice Krispy Treats while I opted for Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero. Both were delicious, and I think you’d agree, very creative flavors!