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You Won't Believe How Good These Ice Creams Flavored Like Thanksgiving Turkey, Mincemeat and Stuffing Taste

Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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When cousins Kim and Tyler Malek opened a Salt & Straw ice cream stand inside Joan's on Third earlier this year, we might have gotten a little bit excited. Okay, a lot bit excited. Every time we head up to PDX, their cart is one of our first stops. They're known for making outlandish flavors using local artisan edibles, like pear with local blue cheese and loaded baked potato.

Here in L.A. though, they've been a bit more mellow in their approach. Perhaps it's because they don't really have their own shop yet, where staff can be trained as to how to ween Angelenos onto their wild-sounding flavors. So when word came of their five course Thanksgiving ice cream tasting pack, we were stoked.

It's not just hum drum fall flavors they're peddling, like pumpkin pie or egg nog ice cream. This is a full-on Thanksgiving feast coursed out into 5 imaginative pints. Savory flavors include Sweet Potato ice cream with and Candied Pecans; Apple Cranberry Stuffing with a celery soda base; Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey; Pumpkin Custard and Spiced Chèvre; and Mincemeat Pie.

"We wanted to bring to life intangible warm feeling of passing around the Thanksgiving turkey," says Tyler. "There’s something special about sharing a meal with friends and family, and we wanted to grasp that feeling with these ice creams."

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
In Portland, the Maleks scoop flights of the ice cream in mini-scoops, sort of like a beer tasting. Here in L.A., they're selling the flavor in 5-pint packs.

Of course, ice cream might not seem the obvious choice when talking about fall desserts. But here in L.A. where we're still experiencing heat waves, it makes a lot of sense to bring something like Salt & Straw to a family gathering or Friendsgiving.

"We are really trying to share new stories as seasons progress, and really capture the feeling if the season," says Tyler. "Oftentimes it comes down to the artisans, but this time it was really more about this the idea of nostalgia and sharing."

All those ideas are lovely, but you're likely wondering if such whacky flavors taste any good. The answer is yes. Big time. Our favorites were the least expected: Mincemeat Pie and Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey.

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The mincemeat pie is a hearty, spicy blend with a heavy dose of clove and brandy flavors. It's a rich scoop that's not something you want piled into a triple cone, but that' s not the point anyhow. "It's meant to be the digestif at the end of the five course meal. I'd want to snuggle up with it next to a roaring fire," says Tyler.

Salt & Straw's sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons is one of their signature flavors, so it's no surprise that their Salted Caramel Thanskgiving Turkey is a home run. They make a turkey fat and caramelized onion caramel ice cream with fried turkey skin brittle pieces scattered throughout. It might sound strange, but it's that same salty sweet joy that comes from eating pig candy or kettle corn. For lovers of pork crackling or Peking duck, it will totally make sense.

Recipe testing for a turkey skin brittle was a challenging process. Needless to say the team at the Portland test kitchen was eating turkey sandwiches for weeks.

But it was all worth it. You can pick up a 5 pack at Joan's or order them online $65 to find out for yourself. Fireplace is not included.