At Salt & Straw, we’ve been serving dairy-free flavors since our pushcart days. Throughout our early years, our monthly menus included seasonal sorbets–from Lemon Basil Sorbet for summer, to Horchata Sorbet for winter, to an incredibly decadent Pear & Candied Ginger Sorbet for Thanksgiving. In 2013, we partnered with chef Gregory Gourdet to create our first non-sorbet dairy-free ice cream: Coconut Milk w/ Cashew Brittle & Pandan. While creating this flavor, we pushed ourselves to learn more about the incredible taste and dense texture that can be achieved using dairy alternatives like coconut cream, and found that non-dairy ingredients can be used to make magic.
During the debut of our first non-dairy ice cream, we discovered just how much happiness we could share by offering a moment of decadence to those on a dairy-free journey. We made a promise to keep our menu 20% dairy-free year-round, and set out to create a lineup of incredibly indulgent plant-based ice creams. Throughout this endeavor, we realized that the driving force behind our mission to share unbelievably delicious dairy-free dessert is to be constantly innovating how techniques, ingredients, and flavors can come to life through ice cream–telling a unique story and creating a truly unforgettable experience.
But how do we achieve such decadence without any dairy? We’ve found that the natural richness and fats in many non-dairy products bring so much indulgent texture and bold flavor, that we dove head first into celebrating those ingredients. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of experimenting– from coconut cream, which is one of our favorites for its amazing natural creamy texture–to homemade oat milk, and even avocado and banana. For this year’s Dairy-Free Decadence Series, we chose to take our non-dairy mission to the next level and create flavors inspired by classic Americana desserts, including super extravagant Bananas Foster (v), luxurious Red Velvet Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting (v), and ultra-rich and creamy Chocolate Sorbet (v). The flavors on this month’s menu are our most decadent yet–not despite being dairy-free, but because they’re dairy-free.