Salt & Straw has teamed up with Food Forward, a local non-profit food recovery organization, to create 5 flavors that use reclaimed fruits, veggies, grains, and spices — for the month of June. Proceeds from three flavors will directly benefit Food Forward and its efforts to reduce food waste and get fruits and veggies to needy people.
Food Forward also recovers produce from the Larchmont Farmers Market, and takes it to LA City College for distribution to low income and food insecure students. The organization will be at Salt & Straw this Sunday between 12-2 pm as part of the store’s Meet the Producer series.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to tell people where the ice cream came from and explain how they can get involved or donate backyard fruit to Food Forward,” said Laura Jellum, Outreach & Communications Director for Food Forward. “Our fruit picks are powered by volunteers and are the biggest part of what we do. We have 160 events per month across LA and Ventura counties. Plus, we are thrilled to receive proceeds from the sale of Top of the Beet, Whey-Preserved Strawberries and Salt-Cured Backyard Citrus Creamsicle ice creams.”
Salt and Straw reps said they hope the flavors will not only provide some delicious summer options for customers — but also raise awareness around the issue of food waste both locally and nationally.
June Flavors are now available in all the Salt & Straw scoop shops through the end of the month.
Food Forward’s Top of the Beet flavor comes from the tasty greens many shoppers leave behind. Salt & Straw cooks down the stems into a jam with lemon and sherry vinegar, which gets added – along with a crunchy sugar brittle made with the dehydrated beet leaves – into a lightly spiced salt and pepper ice cream.
Whey-Preserved Strawberries flavor comes from berries in Oxnard, where Food Forward works with larger California farmers to reduce waste in the fields. These extra-ripe strawberries were used to create a super-strawberry preserve with cream and sugar for a berry ice cream.
Salt-Cured Backyard Citrus Creamsicle flavor was inspired by all the local backyard fruit trees around Southern California that are the foundation of the Food Forward effort and still the largest volunteer component. Food Forward orchestrates more than 750 backyard harvests every year. Salt & Straw sliced up a variety of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes and left them covered in salt for at least three days to break down the bitterness and bring out a pure citrus essence making a base of a sweet and salty marmalade that was folded into vanilla ice cream.
The other two flavors were also inspired by food reclamation.
Three Weavers’ Spent Grain with Blackberry Fig Jam – Beer brewers are left with tons of spent grains in the process of making the great microbrews around LA. Salt & Straw worked with women-owned and operated Three Weavers Brewing to rescue the deliciously dark grains left over after brewing their Midnight Flight Stout. They soak the spent grains in cream to draw out what remains of their dark, sweet, and malty flavors that create the tasty foundation of the ice cream that is ribboned with thick layers of homemade blackberry fig jam.
Greenbar Distillery’s Gin Spices & Tonic – Salt & Straw teamed up with their DTLA neighbors at Greenbar Distillery to repurpose a rainbow of spices after they’re used to create CityBright, a distilled tribute to LA’s immigrant community. They infuse the spent spices into a simple syrup like a second-steep tea to draw out those vibrant gin botanicals, then add tonic water from Echo Park’s Volstead Act Company and churn the resulting “gin and tonic” into the ice cream. The final touch is a cocktail-ready garnish of candied citrus zest from peels left over from this month’s Salt-Cured Citrus Creamsicle flavor.