Oh, Seattle summer. You fickle, fickle beast. Like Katy Perry once whined, "You're hot then you're cold..." She wasn't referring to your temperamental temperatures, yet, it relates all too well. No matter! We're out here waiting in lines that snake through scoop shops like our ice cream–loving lives depend on it.
This month the Portland transplant has introduced a new lineup of flavors, this time dreamt up by chefs from the likes of LA, San Francisco, and, yup, right here in Seattle. Head ice cream maker Tyler Malek collaborated with chef Renee Erickson on a most Pacific Northwest and French mashup in frozen dessert form. Nodding to her erstwhile Boat Street Cafe days, Erickson incorporated ras el hanout, yogurt, and pickled jam—classic BSC staples—into her creation which is also inspired by North African spices used in southern France. The ras el hanout and pickled rose jam flavor is like walking through an English rose garden with Mr. Darcy, without all the overtly floral, soapy undertones—nope, it's subtle, light, with enough spice to warm an epic romance.
Never one to shy away from unique flavor combos, this scoop shop on Union Avenue has a new June menu with an eclectic smattering of choices: a blueberry basil base houses dark chocolate chips, Big Boys (of the eponymous food truck and partners with CD Ice Cream on its new soft serve and doughnuts joint opening in Georgetown this weekend) has a Milo chocolate custard that's as malty as its Nestlé choco-powder namesake, an apricot almond rose ice cream with cardamom is one of the lighter offerings, ditto strawberry matcha, but things get zany with a butterscotch root beer flavor as well as one inspired by kare kare, the Filipino stew, here made with peanut butter ice cream, roasted squash, and a fish sauce caramel. Summer hours were extended this month for maximum dairy consumption.
This frozen treat alliance between the folks of Nutty Squirrel Gelato and Mamnoon has birthed this Levantine bundle of ice cream–fueled joy. Mamnoon owners Racha and Wassef Haroun are from Syria and Lebanon, while Alev and Tolga Seymen of Nutty Squirrel hail from Turkey, and with their palates combined, they've created Nutty Booza—"booza" meaning ice cream in Arabic—with nine flavors that reflect their respective roots:available at MBar is Tahitian vanilla, mastic rice pudding, and date and hazelnut sorbet, though these flavors may rotate often, find lemon orange blossom sorbet as the rotating flavor at Nutty Squirrel outposts this month, then there's mahlab stracciatella, chocolate Aleppo, Turkish coffee, Yellow No. 5, and raspberry and beet agave sorbet offered in pre-packaged containers, in popsicle form, and on dessert menus at Anar, Mamnoon, and Mamnoon Street.