REVIEW: Salt & Straw Salty Donut Guava + Cheese

Once upon a time Salt & Straw dropped an extremely limited ice cream doughnut collaboration with Miami, Florida based The Salty Donut. The pint pack sold out in what felt like the blink of an eye and the click of a mouse, but fortunately for those of us that missed out in early 2021, that success lead to some of those flavors coming back and keeping a rotational slot in Salt & Straw’s online store. The Salty Donut Guava + Cheese combines a cream cheese ice cream with glazed brioche donut chunks, rich Florida guava curd, and puffed pastry streusel.

The name Salty Donut is accurate because this ice cream is SALTY. Not so much the cream cheese base, which is dense, rich, and slightly tangy with an immaculately creamy texture, but the brioche donut chunks. The chunks are pretty sizable, and while not perfect, they are the best execution of a donut in ice cream I have ever had. Not quite crispy but more than simply chewy, they carry a rich buttery flavor with epic saltiness that really jumps out of the pint. They’re not fully savory but far from sweet and I really appreciate their presence and execution. Donuts never feel quite like donuts when they’re frozen and submerged in cake, the way that normal cake and cookies can, but these are as close as it gets and really awesome.

The puffed pastry streusel is similar to the brioche chunks without the heft and potent salty finish. It doesn’t really taste like much but adds a nice chew throughout. I could do without the swirl but in no way does it hurt the experience at all.

Where this pint really takes things to another level is the guava curd. I am generally not a guava fan but this curd is so fantastically balanced and rich with tropical flare it made me a believer. It’s heavy and yolky with a brilliantly bright sweet guava flavor that gets tempered by a touch of saltiness. The other components have so much salt it would have been fine if the curd was sickly sweet, but it isn’t, and the potent pop of the summery fruit gets even more shine by the restrained harmony put into the exceptionally dense and buttery smooth swirl. The combination of the thick sugary salted guava and subtle sweet tang from the base is truly magical, and it helps that I have epic pools from the start all the way to the bottom — immaculate quality control from S&S.

This collab between Salty Donut and Salt & Straw is one of the best frozen donut executions you will ever try, and is without a doubt my favorite guava dessert I’ve ever had. Perfectly balanced with salty and fruity and epic-ly decadent to boot, you’ll want to add this one to your next pint order if you’re lucky enough to order a pack when it’s available.

Rating: 9/10

Found at: Salt & Straw ($85 for 5 pints)