Food & Drink

Salt & Straw's Thanksgiving Ice Cream Will Blow Your Mind

We're talking caramelized turkey skin and rosemary stuffing.

Fried turkey skin brittle and molasses brown bread stuffing do not sound like they belong in ice cream, unless, of course, you're one of the geniuses behind Portland's handmade ice cream shop Salt & Straw, in which case they are the obvious building blocks of your newest seasonal flavors. Leave it to Salt & Straw, the ice cream shop that brought you bone marrow ice cream, to defy the odds and everyone's imagination again by incorporating these intoxicatingly good ingredients -- ones we crave all year long but really only get at Thanksgiving time -- into ice creams.

This November, Salt & Straw is offering a collection of seasonal ice creams that channel the inner Thanksgiving fiend in all of us. The flavors not only incorporate the savoriest, most quintessential Thanksgiving foods, like turkey skin, but they also happen to taste amazing. While undoubtedly shocking, these aren't flavors made for shock value. They're flavors that celebrate the best of Thanksgiving in unexpected combinations, like pumpkin and goat cheese. They pay tribute to the Thanksgiving fare we think about all year round, by bringing them to life in a new form: ice cream!

This year's Thanksgiving flavors are:
Hazelnut Rosemary Stuffing
Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
Spiced Chevre Pumpkin Pie
Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey
Honey Bourbon Corn Pudding
Sweet Potato Casserole WIth Maple Pecans

Some of the flavors, like Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey, are repeat flavors from last year. (Once you try it, you'll understand why.) Others, like Sweet Potato Casserole With Maple Pecans, are tweaked variations, which we take as a great sign that Salt & Straw is constantly working to perfect its ice creams. Still others, like Honey Bourbon Corn Pudding, are completely new. With the exception of Hazelnut Rosemary Stuffing, which is only available in the Portland store, and Cranberry Walnut Stuffing, which is only available in the L.A. store, all the flavors can be found in both stores. You can also order most of them online here.

We couldn't wait to try the flavors. Not only were we blown away, but we were also really impressed by how well the ice creams stood up in the freezer. After many months, the ingredients -- like the fluffiest, gooiest campfire marshmallow -- tasted perfectly fresh. In the great tradition of Thanksgiving foods, then, these ice creams will make great leftovers. Here's our review of the Salt & Straw's Thanksgiving flavors we tried:

Hazelnut Rosemary Stuffing
Alison Spiegel
Rosemary, Willamette Valley hazelnuts and rich molasses brown bread stuffing."This one is full of raisin and nuts. It's not for raisin haters." "Tastes like a savory oatmeal cookie in ice cream form." "The bread is finely ground, which adds a nice texture, and there's a strong rosemary flavor and aftertaste."
Spiced Chevre Pumpkin Pie
Alison Spiegel
Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream with chevre. "The goat cheese isn't too overwhelming, and it legitimately tastes like a real pumpkin pie. The really smooth texture is perfect." "The unexpected flavor combination of chevre and pumpkin pie is nothing short of a revelation. This inspires us to try our own goat cheese pumpkin pie." "A real winner."
Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey
Alison Spiegel
Flavors from roasted turkey juices and caramelized onions in a turkey fat caramel ice cream with handmade fried turkey skin brittle. "The name is scary, but the turkey flavor is almost non-existent." "The brittle is slightly savory but doesn't taste like turkey, so it's not as scary as it sounds. It kind of sticks in your teeth, leaving you with a stronger turkey aftertaste than during-taste." "The caramel is like what we wish all salted caramel ice cream tasted like."
Honey Bourbon Corn Pudding
Alison Spiegel
Corn pudding, baked with Portland-distilled honey bourbon, and folded into ice cream with swirls of honey. "There's no real corn to speak of, but it's still awesome. The honey tastes real, in texture and taste. Yep, it's real." "The bourbon is subtle and the honey is really strong and delightful."
Sweet Potato Casserole With Maple Pecans
Alison Spiegel
Sweet potato ice cream, Vermont maple-infused marshmallow, and buttery pralined pecans. "The maple pecans add a really nice crunch contrast, and the marshmallow is legit -- so nice and fluffy." "Lots of spices, like cinnamon, and not so much sweet potato flavor, but we'll take it." "Themarshmallow is so good and so real, it's crazy."

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Thanksgiving Pie