Salt & Straw's fresh sheep's cheese and strawberries flavor offers the rare combo of decadence and funk.
The idea of eating cheese for dessert can feel unappealing in the summer, when it's too humid to move and mosquitos are drowning in your arm sweat. And yet, cheese is the star ingredient of a dessert we plan to eat all summer long—ice cream made with fresh sheep's milk cheese and berries.
This July, the cult-favorite, Portland-based ice cream shop Salt & Straw unveiled a handful of new berry-forward summer flavors. After tasting them all like the serious journalists that we are, we can confidently say: It is nothing short of devastating that we haven't been eating sheep's milk cheese ice cream every day for our whole lives.
Like all the best ice creams, the components of the Fresh Sheep's Cheese & Strawberries flavor make sense together outside of an ice cream context: berries and fresh sheep's milk cheese pair wonderfully on a cheese board or even just a bag you're eating out of on your bed. The sweet berries, paired with the slightly-funky creaminess of the cheese, become something harmonious; when translated into an ice cream format, the cheese-berry duo gains a lushness you could spend your whole life dreaming about. Each scoop is like an airy, refreshing berry cheesecake, but better than any berry cheesecake you've had before.
To make the flavor, mellow fresh sheep’s cheese (from Black Sheep Creamery) is cooked into a custard ice cream base. Fresh Hood strawberries are roasted to make the strawberry jam, which swirls through each pint.
The other flavors in Salt & Straw's July "Berries Series" are excellent, too, all of them using berries grown in Oregon. The Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero is an even tangier choice, with a welcome dose of heat, and the Birthday Cake and Blackberries is better than actual birthday cake, somehow.
Scoops and pints of these flavors are available at Portland scoop shops throughout the month of July. They are also available for shipping nationwide.