Mash-ups have become, if not mainstream, then an accepted and anticipated part of art-makery. Songs, films, books, and every other written and record work, pretty much, has now experienced the blending of two or more distinct themes, or vibes, or eras, or all of the above.
Thank the internet for much of the unexpected putting-togetherness we've all experienced in recent years, a quirky concept that's extended to all manner of cuisine.
For example? Where once fermented foodstuffs occupied jars of the refrigerator door — pickles, miso, fish sauce, and sourdough starter — those same foodstuffs now, for a limited time, will be a part of the ice cream line-up at a trio of Southern California ice cream shops.
We speak of Salt & Straw, the began-on-Larchmont, landed-next-in-Venice ice-creamery that just opened its third icy outpost in Studio City. ("Began" meaning here in LA; yes, it hails from Portland.)
And beginning on Friday, May 27, all three shops will offer mash-ups on the "fermented foods + ice cream" theme.
Yep, that means a Dill Pickle Sorbet, complete with a touch of fennel. And Fish Sauce Caramel with Palm Sugar. And Sourdough with Chocolate & Strawberries. Cacao Nib & Red Miso is also a frosty, fermented choice, as is California Avocado & Cardamom with Fermented Carrot Custard.
That's right: These are ice creams with fermented-foodie flair. Not only can we call these surprise additions to the sweet, with can call them lickable mash-ups of the most unusual, "can they do that?" sort.
Turns out they can do that at Salt & Straw, one of the innovators on the offbeat ice cream scene. And if you needed a harbinger that fermented foods would be one of the trends of summer, you only need to gaze back upon the middle of May, when a full day of fermented-themed festivities unfurled at Grand Central Market downtown, including the group-making of 1,000 pounds of kraut.
Will kraut ice cream be next? Surely you didn't think fish sauce would appear as a cone topper.
Or did you?
In a mash-up world, expecting the unexpected — as movie trailers so often advise us to do — is really the right thing to do. Still, edibles like Dill Pickle Sorbet can surprise one, from time to time.
But like fermented things, the Salt & Straw fermented flavors won't last for long. Get your sour/sweet lick on before June wraps.