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Salt & Straw

Farm to cone ice cream made with the finest Northwest ingredients

by Graham Hiemstra in Food + Drink on 02 March 2012

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New to the foodie community in Portland, OR, Salt & Straw makes truly unusual, delicious ice cream with the finest locally grown ingredients. We were recently tasked with sampling a handful of the latest "farm to cone" flavors and—though the team was split over which varieties they preferred—Salt & Straw definitely won us over.

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Each of the unexpected flavors remains refreshingly true to taste, rather than something concocted in a lab experiment. The Ninkasi Oatis Stout—made with craft beer from Eugene, OR-based Ninkasi brewery and laced with ribbons of fudge—trumped any doubts over the combination. The hoppy, oatmeal flavor, while perfectly suited to a sweet scoop of ice cream, was still reminiscent of the beloved local beer.

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Salt & Straw collaborated with other NW neighbors, Stumptown Coffee and Woodblock Chocolate, blending Stumptown's fair-trade beans with Woodblock's freshly roasted cocoa nibs for a sophisticated version of classic coffee ice cream. Also made with Woodblock is the Ocumare single origin chocolate flavor we found to be more complex, and less overtly sweet than what we had as children.

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Other flavors that had the CH HQ talking were Arbequina olive oil and pear with blue cheese. While the olive oil was a definite hit with its novel balance of savory and sweet, the pear and blue cheese was met with mixed reviews. For some, the blue cheese overpowered the subtle pear, but then again, anyone who opts for an ice cream accented with a stinky cheese is likely up for a flavor adventure.

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Regardless of individual preferences, the fresh flavors remained consistently authentic across the board. Salt & Straw is sold online and at their scoop shop located in NE Portland's Alberta neighborhood, where you'll find a rotating selection of seasonally influenced flavors.

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