At Scoops. Today's salt-honey ice cream has displaced beet-cashew as my favorite flavor ever at Scoops. It's... intense, but not overwhelming.
I've always loved his salty flavors - salty mascarpone, salty chocolate, salty caramel. The pleasures of saltwater taffy, intensified - salt bringing out the sweet and burnt-sugar and warm flavors...
But salt-honey is different. First clue is the label. It's not "salty x", but "salt, honey." There's a comma, even, on the label. This is not a misprint. Something like "salty chocolate" is primarily a chocolate flavor, with a little extra salt to amp up and bring out the chocolate.
Salt-honey is a *salt* flavor. The salt - good sea salt - is dominant. There are distinct granuels of it, unlike the "salty X" flavors, where the salt is completely mixed in.
In interview, Tae Kim, the proprieter/ice cream maker, said that he really likes to think in terms of a foreground flavor and a background flavor. You first get the background flavor, then the foreground flavor rises up, dominates, and then fades again into the background. In salty chocolate, chocolate is the foreground. In salty caramel, caramel is the foreground. In salt-honey, salt is the foreground, and honey the delicate background that just brings the salt flavor into sharper focus.
It's hard to describe. It's not like oversalted food. It's like with spice. With dumb hot food, somebody just pours on a bucket of chile oil or whatever, and it's just so spicy you can't taste anything. In really good, say, Thai or Mexican or Indian or Sri Lankan cooking, the spice is essential. Not only that, it's not just heat, it's *the particular flavor of the chile."
In salt-honey ice cream, the sweetness is arranged somehow so you can look more deeply into the soul of the salt granule.
Anyway, this may sound all wanky and pretentious or whatever, but this isn't any sort of intellectual, goatee-rubbing, "hmmm how fascinating" flavor. This is raw, gutteral goodness. I stuck my face in my ice cream bowl and snarfed with complete concentration and joy until it was gone.
I had it with mango-riesling sorbet, and the bites of mango-riesling in the dregs of the melted slat-honey were totally awesome too. Makes me want to make it into a dessert.
Hope salt-honey comes back.
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