After a particularly long day I like to mellow out with California’s finest, and often I get a taste for something delicious. Usually it’s something salty and sweet. It could be buttered toast, Welch’s Fruit Snacks, pita chips, the possibilities are endless. Sometime it’s ice cream and when my taste buds are craving ice cream, I reach for my go to flavor, Steve’s Salty Caramel.
There are numerous “Salty Caramel” varieties to choose from, after all, ice cream is big business. It must be these days since you can get a single pint for $11.99. There was a time when I said I would never pay that much for ice cream, but that time has come and gone.
That’s not the case here, compared to some of the other brands out there, Steve’s is a bargain at $5-$7 a pint. It consistently delivers generous ribbons of thick, buttery caramel swirled through velvety ice cream. The use of sea salt in their recipe is very understated and doesn’t overpower the sweetness. Although eggs aren’t in the ingredients, Steve’s is extremely rich, like custard. And as with all ice creams, it’s critical that Steve’s is enjoyed at the optimal temperature. The ice cream should yield when pierced with a spoon. For me, when ice cream is too hard it numbs the tongue and doesn’t allow you to experience its true flavor. Let it sit out for awhile, like a fine wine or cheese, until it’s just right.
Steve’s Salty Caramel would pair perfectly with soft pretzels, not the cardboard salted variety found on NYC street corners. Buttered Amish pretzels from Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia would be ideal, but that may not be a viable option. If you can’t find pretzels, garlic knots would be an excellent substitute, especially the ones from the Whole Foods on 3rd Street in Brooklyn.