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We Tried Prosciutto Ice Cream, and--Surprise!--We Loved It
Salt & Straw, Portland, OR
This newcomer, which just opened in the city's hip Alberta district, packs its small-batch creations with 17% butterfat (most ice creams contain about 10%) to ramp up the richness in each bite, and ships a sampler of flavors nationwide. Portlanders can also book the company’s old-timey ice cream cart to enliven birthdays, weddings and other gatherings in need of sweet treats (and which ones aren’t?).
Safe bet: Chocolate with Gooey Brownies
For the adventurous: Three Berry Barbecue (a strawberry, huckleberry, and Oregon marionberry base, ribboned with sweet barbecue sauce)
Our favorite: Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, 9 Ohio locations; 2 Nashville locations
The salted caramel trend may have reached full saturation in recent years, but that was just one of the flavors Jeni Britton-Bauer was serving when she opened her first scoop shop in 2002 (she’s since expanded to 10 more locations, and Jeni’s Ice Creams can also be found in markets nationwide or ordered online). Her Salty Caramel is still a fixture on the menu—along with Pistachio & Honey, Golden Ale and Apricots, and a rotating roster of seasonal flavors like Coriander Raspberry and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries—and her creations can also be duplicated in your kitchen with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, her recent cookbook.
Safe bet: Brown Butter Almond Brittle
For the adventurous: Queen City Cayenne (a word to the wise: it packs a punch!)
Our favorite: Black Coffee (the name doesn’t lie—it’s as dark and bold as the best French roast you’ve ever had)
Humphry Slocombe, San Francisco
A sweet addition to the city’s Mission District, this three-year-old shop offers the most inventive flavors west of the Mississippi—like Hibiscus Beet, Peanut Butter Curry and Salt and Pepper—and lets you top your scoop with everything from butterscotch sauce to bacon peanut brittle to 20-year-aged balsamic vinegar.
Safe bet: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip
For the adventurous: Boccalone Prosciutto (or Foie Gras, for that matter)
Our favorite: Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream studded with cornflakes)
Morelli’s Ice Cream, Atlanta
The Southern institution is known for its witty flavors—like Gin and Tonic sorbet or Elvis Lives, a combo of banana ice cream and peanut butter cups—but if you ask us, its crowning glory is the fact that their waffles cones are all made fresh to order, and customers can combine two flavors into one scoop. Now that’s service.
Safe bet: Maple Walnut
For the adventurous: Coconut Jalapeno
Our favorite: Sweet Corn
Sweet Republic, Scottsdale, AZ
Friends Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp opened this top-rated shop in 2009 after leaving the world of finance behind—and with unique flavors like Real Mint Chip (made with actual mint leaves), Cabernet Pear, and Basil Lime sorbet, it’s clear to grateful Scottsdale residents that the pair chose the right path.
Safe bet: Peanut Butter Chip
For the adventurous: Honey Blue Cheese
Our favorite: Apple Pie
Je and Jo, New York City
The masses may be partial to the standard vanilla-and-chocolate-chip version of cookie dough ice cream, but NYC newbie Je and Jo is putting a new spin on the concept with its inventive cream-and-dough pairings—like cardamom ice cream mashed up with snickerdoodle dough, or lemon ice cream with ginger molasses cookie dough.
Safe bet: Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
For the adventurous: Honey Grapefruit Ice Cream with Pecan Sandie Cookie Dough
Our favorite: Cinnamon Ice Cream with Oatmeal Cookie Dough
5 rules for the perfect ice cream sundae
Ice cream as finger food?
Strawberry ice cream float recipe
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