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Roasted Bone Marrow Vies for SF’s Most Interesting Ice Cream Flavor

It’s one of Salt & Straw’s new flavors

Bone marrow ice cream with smoked cherries
Salt & Straw

San Francisco is not lacking in creative ice cream flavors, or ice cream in general, for that matter. For a city with average temperatures hovering in the low 60s, there’s an awful lot of frozen treats around. It takes something particularly inventive (or just astoundingly simple and well-done) to stand out these days. Salt & Straw, the newest addition to the ice cream scene, has released its “late harvest” menu, with an eye-catching option: roasted bone marrow ice cream with smoked cherries.

Co-founder Tyler Malek says that he’s always been fascinated by bone marrow for its intense flavor. “It adds this completely different texture to ice cream,” said Malek. “It has a meatiness to it.” Malek spent over a year perfecting the flavor, looking at different fat profiles and how they freeze.

To create this elixir, Malek lightly smokes Oregon Bing cherries over cherry wood, then cures them in a brine of bourbon, cherry heering, and spices like star anise, and black pepper. He then renders the marrow and strains out any solids to create a clarified liquid, kind of like a bone marrow ghee.

Next, it’s all about finding the right temperature: The cream and marrow homogenize perfectly at around 110-115 degrees F. It’s emulsified with a stick blender, then more sugar, a little starch, and cherry brine are added before churning. Chopped smoked cherries are folded in to complete the process.

Meaty flavors aren’t completely unheard of in San Francisco — Humphrey Slocombe’s prosciutto ice cream comes to mind — but they still stand out. An additional four flavors will roll out alongside bone marrow on September 1:

  • California Honey Rocky Road
    Candied almonds with a ribbon of honey marshmallow fluff folded into chocolate cream cheese ice cream
  • Coconut Jam and Chocolate Crispy Rice
    Coconut jam from Oakland’s Hey Boo is swirled into salt and vanilla ice cream, with chocolate-covered candied rice clusters
  • Peach Crumble Bars (vegan)
    Peach crumble bars stirred into spiced coconut ice cream, with caramel ribbons
  • Roasted Strawberry and Coconut (vegan)

Salt & Straw is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily at its 2201 Fillmore Street; a second location in Hayes Valley is slated to open in September.

Salt & Straw

2201 Fillmore Street, , CA 94115 (415) 829-2803 Visit Website