About once a year we like to use ice cream to tell a deeper story, to ask a question, or spark conversation. This year, with our spring 2017 collection, we’re asking questions about openness and community. What does it take to befriend a stranger? We’re calling this collection We’re Not From Here. You Belong Here. These flavors may sound unfamiliar on the outside, but are meant to be extraordinarily (or ordinarily) familiar on the inside to an American palate.
This collection is timely for now, but we’ve been working on it for almost a year! The name has threads to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which recounts the adventures of a poet who lives over centuries, changing back-and-forth between a man and woman as he/she meets famous literary figures. Tilda Swinton starred in the movie adaptation, which led me to this quote from her in W magazine: “I never quite understand the way society decides who is beautiful and who is not. But an open face and a capacity for kindness always feel like reliable signifiers to me.”
Approaching the world from a curious perspective is what we do. In a conceptual way, each flavor in the collection is a metaphor for community. It’s about understanding how to bridge the gaps between our differences. When you try these flavors, think about other familiar tastes you are experiencing. Because once you get past the first layer, we’re all familiar aren’t we? It’s not all that different than trying to discover what else you might have in common with the person you’re with.
We’re Not From Here is the idea is that we are starting with something seemingly new, and then flipping perception in one bite. In one moment, you’ll recognized these flavors and land at You Belong Here. Because when you taste these flavors, that is your immediate thought. You may think, “I don’t know if I want curry in my chocolate.” But then you try it and you say, “Yes I do. You definitely belong here.”
Two of our Spring flavors are out now, and the final three will be here next month.
Supermoon is really, really fun. It’s actually two ice creams in one: blue violet and vanilla marshmallow. One side is very familiar (vanilla marshmallow), and the other is more exotic (blue violet—though I’ve always thought that violet smells like Lucky Charms marshmallows). Put them together and this ice cream tastes just like marshmallow cereal milk.
And Orange Blossom Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt is a tart, creamy yogurt with the scent of a fresh orange blossom. It’s a beautiful aroma we get by adding neroli and tangerine essential oils to the cream. Together, the two have this weird way of tasting like Pez. Or a really great push up!
Some of you may know genmaicha is a green tea made with toasted rice. When we steep that right in cream, the ice cream ends up tasting like toasted rice with a slight nuttiness coming from the green tea. So when you have a cream that tastes like toasted rice, you add our handmade marshmallows into it. And end up with Genmaicha & Marshmallows ice cream—a flavor that tastes a lot like a marshmallow rice crispy treat.
I bet you’ve never tasted Osmanthus before! It’s perfect for this collection because osmanthus is a flower that smells like a peach. So we thought: What is always on American tables next to peaches? Blackberries! That’s why we mix in tart blackberry candies from Quin Candy from Portland to make Osmanthus & Blackberry Crackle.
Cocoa Curry Coco is a flavor we have been making forever and forever. We used to call it Gucci Muu Muu because we thought all the ingredients would make a wild pattern for a muumuu (which weren’t popular back in the early 2000s when we first made this flavor, but are very chic now!). This is evaporated milk chocolate ice cream with beautiful curry spices—cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, fenugreek—that are very familiar to our palates. Fenugreek smells like maple! It’s one of my favorite ingredients. Cocoa Curry Coco also has a little bit of coconut in it for texture and flavor. When you eat them with chocolate it tastes like a really great candy bar—familiar and exotic at the same time.
Whether you use these flavors to spark conversation, or you just pop in for a scoop with pals, we think you’ll love every ice cream in our spring 2017 collection as much as we do!