For those of you who didn’t make it to Salt & Straw for opening weekend but are still wondering if the prime rib and shrimp cocktail-inspired ice cream flavors made the menu, they haven’t. Yet.
Co-founder and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek floated the idea of adding the very-Vegas special flavors back in October, but at the grand opening said he’ll likely reveal some unique Las Vegas-only ice cream combinations in the fall.
“We’re trying to figure that out,” Malek said when asked if a prime rib ice cream is in the pipeline. “For the grand opening there is so much to talk about we wanted to keep it clean and simple and get through summer. We have one really cool [flavor] planned but I can’t talk about it yet. It has something to do in the arts world, more than the food world. The art culture in Vegas is so fascinating.”
Pressed for further details, Malek played coy, only revealing that fun flavors are in the works.
The Portland, Oregon-based ice creamery debuted at UnCommons on June 16, unveiling its Upcycled Food Series along with more than a dozen classic flavors like Cinnamon Snickerdoodle, Honey Lavender, and two last chance scoops to try before they’re retired — a vegan Chocolate Sorbet and Pots of Gold & Rainbows.
Malek says this month’s limited edition flavors are meant to not only taste good, but educate ice cream lovers about food waste.
“For us it’s about the storytelling and this month is all about upcycled foods. We love this idea about changing the dialogue about food waste,” Malek explains. “For the entire month of June all five flavors are certified upcycled meaning at least ten percent of the product would have been thrown away. We’re saving 38,000 pounds of food that’s super edible, super delicious.”
This includes day-old bread pudding, cacao pulp (which surprisingly doesn’t taste like chocolate), whey, okara flour, and barley milk — remnants from the beer brewing process.
Over the years, Malek and his team (which now numbers 105) have created more than 1,400 flavors with only a small percentage returning to the menu. For July, Salt & Straw is bringing back its iconic berries menu.
“They’re historic. People line up waiting for those flavors,” Malek says. And that’s exactly what he wants, lines of people looking to learn about ice cream. “We envision a visit to Salt & Straw being about more than just ice cream. We want it to be an experience,” he says. “We want people to come in and spend 45 minutes tasting ice cream and learning about these stories we put together.”