Picnics are a summer staple. There’s just something special about sitting on the grass on a beautiful day, enjoying lunch and downing a chilled glass of wine or iced tea.
But what if you could actually indulge in the tastes of summer picnics – deviled eggs, watermelon, fried chicken – without the ants, the heat, the shlepping a picnic basket to some park somewhere?
What if you could have an authentic picnic just standing in front of your fridge?
Thanks to Salt & Straw, now you can. The beloved ice cream brand that always seems to come through with the perfect solution to anything (remember, they’re the ones who gave us an ice cream version of Thanksgiving) just introduced their five-course Summer Picnic Series and it’s basically five pints of summer.
Here’s the five-course menu:
- Pink Rosé & Watermelon Sorbet (v)
- Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake
- Deviled Egg Custard w/ Smoked Black Tea
- Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken
- Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie
Pink Rosé & Watermelon Sorbet (vegan): A watermelon and rosé sorbet with a housemade raspberry jam. Made with Sokol Blosser Winery.
Their description: “Sunny days are calling, and this frosé is answering. We start with a ripe watermelon and rosé punch that we simply pour into our ice cream maker and let it coalesce into an out-of-this-world juicy sorbet. Then, we drizzle in house-made raspberry jam for a crisp tartness that carefully balances the sweetness of the wine.”
My take: Refreshing and summery. It’s kind of like an amuse-bouche.
Baked Brie & Fig Cheesecake: A whipped brie cheesecake baked onto a candied ritz cracker crust, combined with dark ribbons of sweet, thick fig jam, all mixed into a salted sweet cream ice cream. Made with Cowgirl Creamery.
Their description: “Gooey, silky, slightly funky and quite sophisticated. We start with a whipped brie cheesecake baked on a candied Ritz cracker crust with dark ribbons of sweet, thick fig jam. The rich, melt-in-your-mouth-buttery smattering of cheesecake is thanks to our friends at Cowgirl Creamery for making the most decadent local cheese on the West Coast.”
My take: Rich, decadent, delish. If, like me, you’re a fan of Brie and fig jam grilled cheese, you will love this.
Deviled Egg Custard w/ Smoked Black Tea: An Indian black salted custard ice cream with smoked tea shortbread crumble and peach balsamic marshmallow fluff. Made with Steven Smith Teamaker.
Their description: “We first had to deconstruct this classic picnic icon before we could truly dial it into dessert perfection. We started with an egg yolk custard laced with Kala Namak, an umami-rich black salt mined near the base of the Himalayas, studded with crumbles of smoked tea-infused shortbread (a fun way to mimic the classic bacon garnish). Top it off with a peach balsamic egg white marshmallow fluff and you have one of the most memorable bites of ice cream you’ll ever taste.”
My take: I know, it sounds weird and you’re wary but I’m telling you it’s surprisingly tasty. Egg is, after all, a big part of ice cream, and this flavor has just a hint of why.
Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken: A spiced vanilla ice cream with bits of fried chicken croissant. Made with Ezell’s Fried Chicken.
Their description: Slightly savory and evocatively spiced with sudden pops of crackling texture, this ice cream brings together the unprecedented marriage of ice cream and fried chicken, a marriage that the world didn’t even know it needed. We start with fresh croissants, torn into bits, deep-fried with chicken fat ‘til crispy perfection, and churn them into salted vanilla ice cream. A shake of very special (very secret) spices adds a sweet heat kick.”
My take: Salty, sweet, SO good.
Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie: A rich, single-origin chocolate ice cream spiked with Nocino brandy and hunks of rustic cherry slab pie. Made with Stone Barn Brandyworks.
Their description: “Every party eventually comes to an end. And like any great party, we can’t leave without an epic dessert pairing. Enter cherry slab pie and local-made digestif. For this partnership, we looked to Stone Barn Distillery and their world-famous, three year-aged, green walnut liqueur called Nocino made from hand-picked Oregon walnuts. A healthy splash of that nocino brings intrigue to a single-origin chocolate ice cream with hunks of rustic cherry slab pie.”
My husband’s take: I can’t comment on this one because my husband finished the whole pint before I got a chance to taste it. I guess that says it all.