For anyone wondering what unique Seattle ice creams Portland-based sensation Salt and Straw would open with this month, Eater is happy to reveal the full menu with descriptions below, including permanent scoop styles and the five Seattle Chocolatiers Series specialties that will only last through February before being swapped for fresh new flavors. These are available starting Friday, February 9 in Ballard and as of February 16 on Capitol Hill; each shop features only a few seats, leaving plenty of space to accommodate the long lines that follow this regional chain around.
Since Salt and Straw co-owners and cousins Kim and Tyler Malek both grew up in the Seattle area, it’s about time they graced the city with their creative flavor combinations. As expected, they’re showcasing the local food scene beautifully via their frozen artistic medium.
Tyler, the head ice-cream maker, gushes about the producers he grew up admiring, like Fran’s and Theo’s, and about the connections he’s still eager to make, like with the city’s many breweries. At the moment, he revealed, his go-to flavor is a sorbet with Rachel’s Ginger Beer: Its simple ingredients, uncharacteristic for Tyler given his typically complicated concoctions, result in a supremely refreshing treat.
For those unfamiliar with the menu at Salt and Straw, in each city where it has outposts (Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and now Seattle), the company features a master list comprising some classic flavors — sea salt with caramel ribbons, chocolate gooey brownie, and honey lavender, to name a few — as well as a handful of types featuring items from producers local to the host region (all other mix-ins are made in-house). The final menu component is a limited edition section that changes every month, typically organized around a theme. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s the Seattle Chocolatier Series.
Here, now, are Seattle’s distinct offerings:
- Elm Coffee and Westland Whiskey: “If you’re going to scoop coffee ice cream in Seattle, it’s got to be dark and rich. So we simmer Elm Coffee in cream to soak up its richness, and then steep more coffee in warm water and whiskey to capture its fruitiness. We combine the extracts with sugar and cream for an intense coffee ice cream.”
- Beecher’s Cheese With Peppercorn Toffee: “We’re long time fans of Beecher’s and are ecstatic about partnering them. We turn their aged peppercorn Marco Polo cheese into a creamy cheese swirl and drizzle it into a salted ice cream, along with our homemade green and black peppercorn butter brittle for a fruity, salty, savory trifecta of flavor.”
- Ellenos Yogurt and Matcha: “We’ve always thought Ellenos greek yogurt is so rich, it almost tastes like ice cream in its unfrozen form, so instead of going frozen yogurt, we kept it unadulterated and folded it into ice cream. We cook it down with a little sugar, turning it into a pudding, and swirl tons of it into a matcha ice cream made with honey, salt, and orange juice making it fruity, floral, delicious.”
- Rachel’s Raspberry Ginger Beer: “The best ginger beer we’ve ever tasted is made right here in Seattle by Rachel’s. So we take the ginger and raspberry syrup from the soda of the same name, and combine it with coconut cream for a creamy but slightly tart ginger sorbet that just happens to be vegan.”
- Coconut Mint Chip Cupcake: “If you know us, you know we’re not going to just make mint chocolate chip ice cream. We’re going to make a rich coconut ice cream with freckled chocolate and pure peppermint oil from Seely Farm. Then we’ll stir in pieces of our homemade cupcakes for a taste that’s really fresh and bright and bursting with flavor.”
- Fran’s Almond Gold Bar: “Fran Bigelow is American chocolate royalty, and her Gold Bar is legend. To re-create the flavor we add a ribbon of caramel and shards of her chocolate to salted vanilla ice cream. Then to ensure we have the taste just right, we chop up Gold Bars and fold them in.”
- Intrigue’s Green Basil and Chocolate Cocoa Nibs: “We are in awe of the wonderfully intense flavors Intrigue Chocolate’s Chef Aaron Barthel creates in his truffles, and made ice cream inspired by several of them. He declared basil ganache the winner. We make basil ice cream, then stir in tons of his cocoa nibs coated in chocolate.”
- Theo’s Big Daddy S’mores: “Theo is passionate about responsible chocolate so they challenged us to create an all organic ice cream. We accepted by making a smoked-salt chocolate ice cream and adding ribbons of caramel, marshmallow fluff and homemade graham cracker crunch to capture the taste of their Big Daddy s’mores bar.”
- Forte’s Lemon and Pepper White Chocolate: “Master Chocolatier Karen Neugebauer works magic with her white chocolate. To honor her white chocolate with pepper and lemon bar, we made a lemon zest and Cambodian black pepper ice cream. Then, because we couldn’t possibly re-create her white chocolate, we chop up stacks of her bars and fold them in.”
- Fresco’s Pure Chocolate Bar: “Rob Anderson is a chocolate mad scientist, often creating a dozen chocolates from the same bean. We’ve been working with Rob to figure out the roast, conch time and percentage of cacao to make the most perfect purely chocolate ice cream possible. And it’s finally done!”