Ice Cream Chain Salt & Straw for five decadent vegan flavors
Artisanal ice chain from January 1st to February 4th Salt & straw will launch its “Vegandulence” series, a menu that celebrates the enjoyment of vegan ice cream. While the chain typically has a few rotating vegan flavors on their regular menu, Tyler Malek’s co-founder changes focus every January to offer a wider range of flavors that contain unique bases and mix-ins – all made in-house – to celebrate plants. Ingredients like coconut cream, avocado and hazelnut butter. “We want to reclaim the concept of vegan desserts by drawing on the indulgence and wildly heady variety of flavors that plant-based ingredients have to offer,” Malek told VegNews.
This year’s flavors
- Peanut Butter and Strawberry Crumble: Peanut butter and oat milk ice cream topped with salted oatmeal crumble and tart northwest strawberry jam from Oregon Hill Jams.
- Bourbon & Caramelized Honeycomb: Oat milk ice cream mixed with Portland’s Eastside Distillery Bourbon and loaded with pieces of caramelized vegan honeycomb candy dipped in chocolate.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies & Cream: A decadent blend of chocolate, coconut cream, and hazelnut butter from a single source makes up the ice cream base, which is dotted with the homemade version of the store’s oreo cookies.
- Coconut Rice Pudding: Salt & Straw takes over the classic dessert made from jasmine rice, which is cooked in coconut milk flavored with cardamom and cinnamon and processed together with sugar to make a creamy ice cream.
- Banana Avocado Sorbet: A simple recipe that focuses on the natural taste and velvety texture of avocados mixed with bananas for a touch of sweetness.
Shame cow’s milk
On this year’s menu, Malek is testing a variety of textures and flavors that he believes cannot be achieved with dairy products, such as the richness that comes from combining three forms of fat in the taste of chocolate hazelnut biscuits and cream, or the simplicity of allowing core ingredients to shine in banana and avocado sorbet.
“In the ice cream industry, the word ‘vegan’ is anything but normalized, and in fact almost all innovations have tried to remove the aromas of plant-based ingredients and replace them with ‘natural milk flavor extract’.” Malek said. “What the industry forgets is that coconut cream is made up of fats that are so exquisitely velvety that it puts cows’ cream to shame. Roasted oat milk can create a flavor profile that even the fanciest cow’s milk would envy. and avocados have a natural emulsification of fats so elegant it took food scientists hundreds of years and loads of artificial ingredients to make churned ice cream behave similarly. “
The best ice cream, period
Salt & Straw’s vegan menu is not about offering an alternative to dairy products, but about the possibilities of applying traditional methods of making ice cream to plant-based ingredients. “We use everything we know about the science of ice cream, including freezing proteins, emulsifying fats, and incorporating flavors to make the most indulgent vegan ice cream possible,” said Malek. “Our dream is to change the dialogue in this world, because this ice cream is not only good to be vegan. This ice cream is life-changing delicious because it is vegan.”
The Vegandulgence Menu is available for online nationwide shipping and Salt & Straw scoop stores in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Anaheim, California, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, and for local delivery.