Seattle has a particular knack for appreciating ice cream even when skies are gray and temperatures merit fleece. But when summer arrives, bringing with it Washington's annual riot of berries and stonefruit, ice cream flavors roll into prime time.
When it’s not spinning off vegan taco truck, hanging with musicians, or whipping up new flavors of ice cream bars (salted caramel, Memphis king, coconut coffee, double Dutch chocolate), Full Tilt is busy making a new whiskey praline pint flavor, a partnership with Westland Distillery; look for it soon. The company's popular rose ice cream, made with petals from antique variety rose bushes, will return this summer as rose cardamom, and owner Justin Cline says his team is also planning a collaboration flavor with Tacocat (yessss) and a pirate-themed honey flavor with Shipwreck Honey.
Kurt Farm Shop
Inside the new Chophouse Row dwells Kurt Timmermeister's ice cream counter. He makes his base on his Vashon Island dairy farm and froze plenty of last summer's harvest to inform his ice cream flavors. Thus far salted plum seems to be a favorite. I'm pretty fond of Timmermeister's Flora's cheese ice cream, but even fonder of the combo suggested to me the other day by the dude ahead of me in line: pair the Flora's with a scoop of tomato jam ice cream and you've got the ice cream version of a caprese salad.
After a few dessert popups, former Poppy pastry chef Matt Bumpas got himself a cart and regular appearances at both the Fremont and Terry Avenue weekly markets. Right now his seasonal is a strawberry cocoa crunch, to be followed by the likes of cinnamon basil, corn cookie, apricot chamomile, and later in the summer a peach shiso and perhaps a plum jasmine ("assuming we have a good plum year"). In other words: Matt Bumpas does not eff around with his ice cream flavors. You can also find him at Hilliard's on Thursdays and, fittingly, Uncle Ike's on Wednesdays starting June 17.
Owner Adria Shimada makes her own base, grows her own herbs in front of the shop for flavors like a divine rosemary with almond brittle, and keeps a close eye on the summer fruit harvest. No surprise. she has a multitude of summer seasonals planned; right now it's a strawberry that tastes, truly, of the fruit and not like strawberry flavor. Also on her summer agenda: blueberry, to a Theo cacao nib with a blackberry ripple, and some dairy-free sorbets like raspberry and apricot. Shimada's also excited about a new year-round creation; after some tinkering she has developed an Oreo-style cookie, made with “no junky ingredients.” It's crumbled through coffee ice cream for her new Coffee Cookie-o flavor.
I’m still lamenting the conclusion of the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough flavor, though people appear to be psyched about the new vegan coconut strawberry. Come June 22, cherry chunk and vegan cherry chunk rotate in, followed by a blueberry lemon custard, made with lemon curd and a swirl of dense Skagit Valley blueberry jam, and a flavor called orchard blondie: vanilla with swirls of nectarine and peach jam and chunks of the ice creamery's own blondie bars. Later in the summer: vegan coconut raspberry, ginger, watermelon, and huckleberry sorbets, and concord grape sorbet and ice cream.
The cupcake shop-slash-creamery is all about chef-designed flavors this summer. Right now, the scoop shops are rocking Renee Erickson’s salted rocky road with Marcona almonds and a smoked maple old-fashioned flavored with Luxardo cherries, conceived by Tyler Palagi of Radiator Whiskey. Per tradition, the third seasonal this month is the Big Gay Dance Party flavor. In July, John Sundstrom, Rachel Marshall, and Ethan Stowell step in with new flavors (see the full lineup here).