To most of us Vancouverites might felt like oh another creamery? They all taste the same by now. Someone asked me why did I have to go all the way for Salt & Straw? It’s just another Earnest Ice Cream or Rain or Shine.
Yes. Salt & Straw is just another Earnest or Rain or Shine. The reason you want to go to Salt & Straw is because of the local ingredients and sources they use for their ice cream. This is something you won’t be able to find from Earnest or Rain or Shine.
For example, they source handmade apple butter by Oregon Hill Farms to create their seasonal flavour White Toast & Apple Butter. Their Honeyed Rock Road flavour is made with honey from Portland’s Bee Local and hazelnuts from Freddy Guys, a Willamette Valley based family-run orchard.
Each time we go to a creamery, Sav would order a vanilla. People say the simplest things are the hardest to excel. That is why Sav has a habit ordering a vanilla just so he can see how well of a job they are doing.
Double Fold Vanilla
This ice cream is called ‘double fold’ because our friends at Singing Dog Vanilla in Eugene, Oregon use twice as many vanilla beans when making it! They also work with growers in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to find the very best organic vanilla, pay the farmers a fair price, and share a percentage of profits when the final products sell. They call it Fair Trade Plus+ and it’s tasty enough to cause the Wall Street Journal to name it ‘the new standard to beat’!
This double fold vanilla has great flavours. Sav and myself thought it was just on a sweeter end but overall is a great scoop.
We wanted to try more flavours so we decided to order a tasting flight, 4 flavours of a kids scoop each.
Oregon-grown lavender petals are carefully steeped in honey to extract that perfect floral flavor. Salt & Straw is using Bee Local honey in this ice cream, their honey is harvested from urban hives all around Portland resulting in a flavor that is unique and changing throughout the year.
The flavours of this ice cream is very rich. You can definitely taste the rich flavour of lavender. The one thing I does not appeal to me is that the scoop has a very strong fragrance and the bite kind of taste like soap. It is very common to find flavours like lavender and rose end up tasting like soap. Not the best lavender ice cream I ever had but still a decent scoop.
Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon
This flavour is created with Mark Bitterman, the owner of “selmelier” at The Meadow salt shop in Portland. The scoop is topped off by ribboning in hand-burned caramel that Salt & Straw makes in the house. I like this flavour but I think the salt flavour is lacking. The caramel is great only if it was a bit more salty, the bite would have been perfect.
Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon
Everyone is familiar with Portland’s famous Stumptown Coffee. The coffee used in this flavour is the single-origin Sumatra coffee with a kick of Portland’s HolyKakow Chocolate and Burnside Bourbon from the local Eastside Distillery. This is actually my favourite scoop among all the flavours we were tasting. The flavour is rich and decent, although there wasn’t that much of a bourbon taste.
Once in a while, I leave my decisions to the employees. I asked him what is the best selling flavour of the day and he said Carrot Cake. Cool, let’s give it a try. NOPE. I think we all agreed that it was the last flavour we would want a second bite of. Do not get me wrong. It was not a disgusting bite, it just wasn’t the hit. There was honestly no carrot cake flavour. All we got was a lot of cinnamon. Basically…Just cinnamon. Which is not bad but it wasn’t what we expected when it is suppose to be a Carrot Cake flavour.
It was not a disappointing experience but it was not the best. I did expect a little bit more but the flavours are not what I was expected in terms of quality. Although flavours are not up to expectations, the scoops are still decent scoops as they carry great texture and has that good creaminess you want to find in your ice cream. I would still highly recommend first timers to check out Salt & Straw because they are a creamery that works with a lot of local suppliers. I cannot express how much I admire and support local experiences. This is one of the best way to truly experience and learn about the city you are visiting.
Wonder how I spent 72 hours in PDX? Read more about this trip here. #natblogsPDX