I’m not the type of guy to eat or burn my flowers. I love sniffing them, and they’re beautiful, but I don’t tend to appreciate strong floral flavors in my sweets or candles — two things I enjoy on the daily. With my preference for chocolate, peanut butter, salted caramel and even the forever underrated honey and lemon, I’m never overly excited about the Flower Power series at Salt & Straw. But I’m also not close minded. Salt & Straw added a new flavor to its usual springy lineup that really piqued my interest, despite understanding the risk I was taking for my own tentative tongue. Pistachio Rose Water with Strawberry Mochi is pistachio ice cream with ribbons of rosewater white chocolate fudge and scratch-made butter mochi cake marbled with strawberry butter.
What made me willing to take the risk initially was the pistachio base, and it absolutely delivers. As much as I love almond extract-leaning pistachio flavored things, there is absolutely NONE of that here. The base is pure 100% decadent pistachio butter. It is incredibly earthy and bursting with rich nutty flavor. Profoundly decadent and so heavy — it is truly one of the most premium and dense pistachio ice creams I have ever had. For that reason it takes a little extra time to temper, as should be expected with a pint that hits nearly 1300 calories; and it’s worth the extra 5-10 minutes on the counter to reach its perfect peak of melty divinity.
The butter mochi cake pieces are no slouch either. There are TONS of them, from the top all the way to the bottom, and they have a wildly addictive firm but bouncy chew. The combination of mochi and butter comes off exactly how you might think. They have the richness of an ooey gooey butter cake with a more delicate flavor and less crunch. Since the strawberry butter is marbled in, some chunks are pink with a little extra sweetness and faint berry notes, while the others are pale and purely buttery. The pieces come in varying sizes and also benefit from extended temper time — this pint is HEAVY and demands all of your senses, focus, and time.
The two components I expected to enjoy met and exceeded expectations, so now onto the divisive one: the rosewater white chocolate fudge. From an execution standpoint, honestly, it’s flawless. Super fluid and runny yet thick with a sweet foundation and INTENSE rosewater flavor. The rose absolutely jumps out of the pint like you’re biting into your lover’s hand on Valentine’s Day or chugging a bottle of grandma’s perfume. It is STRONG. Initially I thought it was too strong but the more I eat it the more gripped I become. There’s something so beautiful in the aggressive rose that compliments the bold pistachio and buttery cake so well. When I return to the fudge after a more pistachio-dominant bite the taste settles into its own and feels in perfect harmony with the other two components.
This flavor combination gripped me so much I dreamt about it the night after my first serving — it’s special. If I had one suggestion or adjustment, because I don’t want to call it a “flaw”, it would be to toss some actual roasted pistachios in there. The only thing this magical scoop is missing is a little crunch, but that won’t stop me from singing the praises of this complex and beautiful ice cream that should positively without a doubt make an encore appearance next May for Salt Straw’s Flowers 2023.
Found at: Salt & Straw ($13.00)