Each month, Rachael Ray Every Day staffers try hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of new food products (it's research, people!) in hopes of determining the best of the bunch for our monthly Checkout column. The problem? We never have enough room in the mag for all the products we love from the taste test. Introducing: Food Fave, a new web column where we'll show a little extra love to our editors’ favorite new food and bev picks. Check back every week for your grocery store aisle inspo!
This Week's Food Fave: Salt & Straw Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper Ice Cream
OK fine, Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper isn't one of Salt & Straw's new flavors. But thanks to our July/August feature on ice cream, we've had plenty of pints traveling in and out of the office freezer—and this strawberry was one of the best. The company, which started in Portland is known for it's sometimes wacky, always delicious flavors that change seasonally and often include local ingredients. This one uses strawberries from Oregon, honey balsamic from a third generation Oregon bee keeper, and black pepper imported from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. All together, these ingredients make for an anything-but-boring pint that'll convince even the most loyal Rocky Road lovers to go for the strawberry.
Here's what our staffers had to say:
"I love just about every flavor ice cream – though I do think vanilla is only worth using to top a slice of pie. And I never bothered to buy strawberry ice cream because I found it to be just plain boring. Until I tried Salt and Straw’s Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. The strawberries are sweet and jammy, with a nice acidic boost from the balsamic vinegar. And the black pepper adds a mysterious floral note that makes this one ice cream lover have to remember to step away from the pint before finishing it all in one seating!"—Janet McCracken, test kitchen director
"First of all, I’m an ice cream fanatic—like, an 'I would have ice cream three meals a day if I could' kind of fanatic. Strawberry would never be my first choice, though—it may even be one of my last choices. But this Salt & Straw strawberry flavor has changed everything for me. The flavor was sweet, but not overpowering. A rare occurrence. I usually don’t like bits of fruit in ice cream for the fear that they’re artificial or freezer-burnt, but these were real and perfectly ripe. The balsamic and black pepper kind of freaked me out to begin with, but the balsamic was subtle and even had a nice aftertaste, and I didn’t taste any pepper. I might even consider this one of my new favorite flavors."—Hope Tierney, lifestyle intern
Additional Flavors: Salt & Straw has dozens—find them here.
Price: $65 for five pints on SaltandStraw.com.