March is a wonderful time of the year. Temperatures start heating up, basketball is in full swing, the flowers begin blooming their little buds, and more importantly, Salt & Straw bring back their fan voted favorites. My very first formal Salt & Straw review was the astounding Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcake which was voted in last year and is back again this year for good reason – it’s incredible. The 2018 voting season also brought back the whimsical Pots of Gold and Rainbows, and a flavor that hasn’t seen the light of day since 2015 – Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie. This citrusy scoop combines a Nilla Wafer ice cream with housemade lemon curd and silky marshmallow fluff.
Nilla Wafers have one of the most delicate yet distinct profiles of all packaged cookies, and that soft vanilla-forward slightly golden presence is on full display in this ice cream. The wafers are steeped in the cream after being roasted to bring out a deeper flavor, and their essence permeates throughout the immaculately churned dairy like an airy whisper in the wind. It’s an incredibly gentle but effective use of the crumbly cookie’s flavor without any of the gritty texture. As is the case with almost everything from Salt & Straw, the base quality is superb with a rich and creamy mouthfeel that is second to none in the dairy world.
Much like their unmatched ability to churn a truly stellar base, Salt & Straw do not mess around when it comes to their swirls, and both the lemon curd and marshmallow fluff are top tier. The meyer lemon curd has a sensational tart zestiness to it that is both astoundingly bitter and sweet, dancing high note acidic cartwheels on my tongue. It tastes exactly like scooping the innards out from an expertly made lemon meringue pie or lemon bar and tossing it into the smooth dairy with no seizing up it iciness to be found.
Not to be forgotten in the least is the rich, sticky, fluffy marshmallow ribbon that weaves in and out of the pint and clings to the sides of the container like a dedicated gecko. It’s the greatest, most authentic tasting ‘mallow in the ice cream world, and it’s a trick S&S seem to always have up their sleeve to pull out with perfect precision every time. While it’s very sweet it’s somehow balanced to not feel overly sugary, and takes a bit of an intensity backseat to the stellar lemon curd for a lush yin and yang of pure delight.
This is a great flavor of ice cream, and the only real issue with it is some of the wonderful sweet nuances of the marshmallow and wafer base cancel each other out and get lost in the mix. While the textures still stand out on their own, the cool vanilla notes they each bring to the overall profile become a bit washed after successive bites, and I can’t help but wish I had a touch more textural contrast to elevate them to their full potential. While lemon meringue pie isn’t a pie known for being crusty, a little bit of something to chew on could have made this a truly mind blowing scoop. It might also just be unfair that it has to share the limelight with Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcake, which as far as I’m concerned is one of the most expertly crafted foods of all time.
Found at: Salt & Straw ($11.00)