Ice cream maker Tyler Malek at Salt & Straw usually turns to chefs when collaborating on new flavors. But last month he decided to see what bright ideas kids could come up with instead. He visited the three elementary schools near Salt & Straw's shops — Abernathy Elementary in Southeast Portland, Vernon Elementary in Northeast, and Chapman Elementary in Northwest — and asked kids to invent a new ice cream.
Turns out, Portland kids have awesome taste. The nine flavors selected (three from each school) sound inventive and damn tasty. Case in point: "Stop, Guac & Roll," which combines avocado-vanilla ice cream with cinnamon-sugar-dusted fried tortillas. And "Honey Bear," which combines vanilla custard with chocolate honeycomb candy and edible glitter. As one 11-year-old told us after hearing the news: "This is why kids should run ice cream shops. Not grown-ups."
The flavors are available today through April 30, with 15 percent of the proceeds going to the schools. Here's the complete lineup:
Abernethy Elementary flavors (available at the SE Division location):
Chocolate Overload, invented by the team of Marlowe, Enzo, Oliver, and Max. "Us four decided to use a lot of chocolate because we like chocolate. Who doesn't!?!"
Fantastic Fruity Fun Sorbet, created by Sarah, Evie, Jeanne, and Vivi. This is how they describe their creation: "Cherry jellee. The cherry jellee needs to be sticking out." Along with a description of the ice cream they also provided extra details in the form of a haiku, "We love fruit. It makes you feel alive, colorful, and happy. If you like fruit, you'll like it!"
A Lick of Happiness, created by 4th graders Echo, Leah, Charlotte, and Lucy. In their description they wrote: "Secret ingredients: Sprinkles! Not too much strawberry."
Vernon Elementary flavors (available at NE Alberta Salt & Straw location):
Cow Patty, created by Liv. "Chocolate ice cream with crushed up peppermint patties and dark chocolate chunks."
Trail Mix, created by Anna. "Peanut Butter ice cream, little bits of chocolate chips, pretzel, chocolate M&M's, almonds."
Hibiscus Pineapple Dream Sherbet, created by Eva. "Hibiscus pineapple dream is a sweet, tangy, and tropical mixture of bits and pieces of pineapple mixed in with a touch of hibiscus tea and finished with cream and drizzled with honey. Yum!"
Chapman Elementary flavors (available at NW 23rd Salt & Straw location):
Honey Bear, from Teddy at Chapman Elementary. "Vanilla Custard, Chocolate Honeycomb, Edible Glitter."
Gummy Wummy Surprise Sorbet, from Lilly at Chapman Elementary. Here's her description: "What goes in my ice cream is mango and tangerine sorbet. Then you mix in the red gummy worms in the sorbet for the gummy wummy surprise... P.S. my flavor is a sorbet."
Stop, Guac & Roll, created by Keziah, a kindergartener. This description goes right to the point: "Avocados, vanilla, cinnamon, fried tortillas."