Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
After looking at 5 million pictures of towering, melting, drool-inducing ice cream cones on my Instagram feed I realized this: We’re in the golden age of ice cream.
There’s lots of people and institutions to thank for this. On the old-school front: Baskin-Robbins has introduced attention-getting flavors like State Fair Fried Dough (chunks of funnel cake and fried dough in caramel ice cream, hello!). Also, some amazing, already-beloved ice cream stores are expanding: Jeni’s has set up shop in Charleston, South Carolina, and Salt & Straw has opened in L.A. My heroes Big Gay Ice Cream are opening in L.A. and Philadelphia.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Not long ago the folks from Portland, Oregon’s Salt & Straw stopped by the F&W offices, and there was much rejoicing. That’s because what Salt & Straw makes is ice cream, and when you bring ice cream to an office full of ravenous food fanatics, rejoicing and/or gorging is what happens.
What particularly intrigued me about Salt & Straw, though, is that it’s one of several artisanal ice cream producers involved in what you might call a “cocktail ice cream” trend. For their newly released Strawberry and Verbena Pimm’s Cup flavor, for instance, S&S cofounder Tyler Malek teamed up with bartender Ross Hunsinger of Portland’s Aviary bar to create a concoction utilizing strawberries, lemon verbena and a zingy gin marmalade.
Doug Quint should have been working on his dissertation in June 2009 when he decided he wanted a "fun summer job."
"I thought about being a butcher or an exterminator - just something crazy," he said. Then he saw a posting for an available ice cream truck, and New York's Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was born. He and his partner, Bryan Petroff, spent the summer turning out a more colorful version of Mister Softee - with far better ingredients. One summer turned into another and five years later, the pair - who left their other jobs two years into the venture - have launched a Big Gay empire (two storefronts in New York and one opening in LA this spring).
It won't share the flavor, but it will share the name.
Yuengling resurrected its ice cream this week after stopping production of the sweet treat 28 years ago.
Best known for beer, the family-owned Yuengling brewery launched its ice cream subsidiary in 1920 to help the business survive Prohibition.