Photos: Sqirl Teams With Salt & Straw For 'Fermentation'-Themed Ice Cream Flavors


Our favorite Portland-transplanted small batch ice creamery Salt & Straw has announced their June limited-edition flavors, and it seems the Noma-ification of the food world is now complete. The Larchmont Village shop's June seasonal flavor theme is fermentation, and yes, there is an ice cream flavor that includes fish sauce.

The five different flavors—created by Salt & Straw's Head Ice Cream Maker Tyler Malek specifically for their three L.A. locations—will be available beginning Friday. In especially buzz-y news, the June flavors include a collaboration with legendary Sqirl chef Jessica Koslow. Malek and Koslow worked together on a "California Avocado and Cardamom with Fermented Carrot Custard" flavor that combines Koslow's recipe for avocado cardamom ice cream with a house-made fermented carrot custard.

Fermentation and its flavors are surely having a zeitgeist moment in the restaurant world, but ice cream? Malek told LAist that he and his crew have been experimenting with the process over the past few years, and have been "completely enthralled with the nuanced flavors that can be achieved through fermentation."

"Beyond just salty and funky, it can bring out the floral qualities in a honey, the acidic qualities in a cherry, the fruity flavors in an anchovy," he said. "This menu is a collection of flavors that present fermentation in a new light, one that honors the beauty of allowing really amazing ingredients to age for months in the perfect condition and then scooping them into the perfect ice cream flavor."

Well, it's hard to argue with that. And even the fish sauce-accented flavor sounds pretty great, if you are feeling adventurous. According to Salt & Straw, the ice cream flavor in question will pair the Southeast Asian salty, fermented delicacy with caramel and palm sugar, bringing anchovy sauce to "its lusciously sweet, candied destiny."

Other highlights include a sourdough flavor with chocolate and strawberries, that pairs the sourness of a house-made sourdough "mother" with the sweetness of candied sourdough “croutons,” along with ribbons of strawberry jam and chocolate, and a wonderfully fresh dill pickle sorbet made from house-fermented pickles.

The Portland-founded ice creamery first landed in L.A. in September 2014 with a shop on Larchmont, and have since opened in Venice and Studio City. Previous seasonal flavor themes, which change monthly, have included flowers and a line inspired by local chocolatiers. The fermentation flavors will be available at all three L.A. locations until the end of June.

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