We can't hide our giddiness for the change of season and the start of fall. There's something magical in the cool mornings and hot afternoons, the earthy-toasty scent of fallen leaves perfuming the air, and the spiced and buttery scent of baked goods coming from a long-dormant oven. Across orchards and vineyards, each week brings new tidings of a harvest at its peak, from the last and juiciest plums to the first pressing of grapes and harvest of pears and apples. It's no mystery why humans have centered celebrations in fall for millennia; it's a time to eat, cherish, and give praise to the harvest and the gifts of the season.
We love any excuse to bring the community together, and fall festivals, carnivals, and street fairs have been part of Salt & Straw's DNA since the very beginning. Our fall festival tradition began in 2011 at our first location on Alberta Street in Portland, OR. Looking to extend ice cream season beyond summer, we set out to make fall a holiday of its own and highlight a seasonal menu in the process. Our fall festivals evolved over the years, but in the early days they were all about hosting neighborhood "hayrides" (pedicabs lined with hay gathered from Kim's backyard), and live performances from acoustic swing band Trashcan Joe. There was cornhole and even some apple-bobbing, and a seasonal menu with classic fall flavors like our Pear Blue Cheese. And it was those early fall festivals that helped define how all our scoop shops would become part of their neighborhoods and communities.
This month, we're capturing the tastes and smells of fall and harvest festivals: juicy and irresistible caramel apples, cinnamon rolls and cheddar-spiked apple pie, the last juicy summer plums paired with bittersweet chocolate and toasted Oregon hazelnuts, local pears poached in Oregon Pinot noir, and of course, our very own spin on pumpkin-spice everything.
We've partnered with Beecher's Handmade Cheese and Sokol Blosser Winery to bring back two stunning flavors to the seasonal menu. Beecher's Cheese with Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls, features ice cream infused with Beecher's award-winning Flagship Cheddar enrobing spiced pastry, bright apple pie filling, and an oozy, decadent cinnamon swirl. Our Pinot Poached Pear Sherbet begins with freshly picked pears bathed in Willamette Valley's own Sokol Blosser Pinot noir, then gets blended with our Double Fold Vanilla to create an extra luscious, subtly spiced sherbet that captures pears and Pinot at their best.
Our Caramel Apple Sherbet is the essence of a fall carnival. Ribbons of vanilla scented caramel are the perfect compliment to a crisp apple sherbet made with Washington's own Treetop apple juice. And the last, best plums of summer are harvested and combined with rich fall flavors in our dairy-free Chocolate Plum & Hazelnut Shortbread (v). Coconut cream ice cream is infused with crumbles of hazelnut shortbread, flecks of dark chocolate, and swirls of plum marmalade, an explosion of tangy, tart, and toasty.
Finally, fall wouldn't be complete without a pumpkin spice offering. First, we challenged ourselves to capture the essence of what makes a pumpkin spice latte so iconic, then sought to break the mold. Our newest flavor, Pumpkin Spiced Tiramisu ice cream does exactly that. Pumpkin-coffee ice cream is sweetened with maple and infused with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove, a heady and intoxicating blend that redefines pumpkin spice. We combine this with the classic tiramisu trio of cake, coffee, and mascarpone, followed by a stracciatella swirl of not-just-any chocolate, but single origin, 73% Camino Verde from Ecuador, made by our friends in Portland at Cloudforest Chocolate.
Fall is a time for celebrating and savoring. Whether you're competing in your first bobbing-for-apples competition, or coming by to sample our caramel apple sherbet, we hope your fall is full of great flavors and memories in the making.