Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook is a must for any lover of icy eats and any at-home or professional cook looking to master the frozen arts. While a few chapters were laughable in the moment – the IPA ice cream made me gasp as if I’d just read about my favorite Game of Thrones character being killed – this is a kitchen staple.

The chapters are arranged in a mostly logical fashion. The “Farmers Market” chapter could easily be renamed “Veggies,” which gets to my favorite aspect of this cookbook. Like the milk bar cookbooks by Christina Tosi and crew, Salt & Straw takes their mother recipes, riffing with childlike creativity. “Swedish fish tartar” is straight Willy Wonka, and nearly every recipe has that feel.

Aside from classics like Double-Fold Vanilla ice cream, each recipe shows innovation by pairing unique flavors, yet showing restraint by not making recipes too “extra.” I don’t envision ever making a Garam Masala Cauliflower ice cream, but the recipe makes me think of which flavors would work with cauliflower or masala – separately for my personal taste. Their creativity kickstarted my own.

This is a must for any baker, a slightly counter-intuitive statement about an ice cream cookbook. Baking and ice cream-making require precision as well as a practical understanding of chemistry and physics. Salt & Straw explains these concepts in a simple, straightforward way that will appeal to the rookie cook as well as the veteran molecular gastronomer. If you need to escape the heat this summer and want some of the tastiest ice creams available, buy this book and follow their easy directions. You’ll become a better cook, plus you’ll get ice cream as a reward. Win, win.

Reviewed By: Kevin Wren

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