Salt & Straw

Culinary perfumes

Sold individually in 50ml bottles for $65 or a perfume flight sample/travel pack of all three (10ml each) for $48. www.saltandstraw.com

Recall the last time you ate chicken noodle soup while suffering from a stuffed-up nose? You knew it should smell great, but without being able to detect any aroma, it was challenging to discern the soup’s flavor. Ice cream entails a similar situation. Without significant smell due to the freezing temperature, it lacks the sensory component that boosts pleasure.

Considering how important smell is to the joy of dining, Salt & Straw worked with Portland-based perfumery, Imaginary Authors, to develop fragrant edible sprays, dubbed “culinary perfumes.” You may wonder, as I did, how they work. The team began by mixing ingestible ingredients into what evolved, over four and a half years, into three distinct scents: cocoa, citrus and bloom. Surprisingly, these fragrances add only aromatics, not flavors, to the dishes and drinks they mist. With the objective of enhancing– even elevating– the ice cream experience, Salt & Straw really hit the mark with this endeavor.

A cloud of cocoa

Woody, earthy notes of chocolate reminiscent of Cocoa Puffs. Perfect for heightening chocolate-flavored ice cream as well as more neutral tastes of double fold vanilla, arbequina olive oil and even cold brew coffee cashew praline.

Try a spritz on your next whiskey drink for a truly spectacular cocktail.

A plume of blooms

Honeysuckle and night-blooming jasmine on a warm summer evening. Outstanding on their vegan Marionberry coconut sherbet, the scent also lifts pear & blue cheese ice cream to another level.

When imbibing, add the floral aromas to a French 75 or gin and tonic.

A swoon of citrus

Lemony-fresh citrus peel that progresses into a bowl of freshly-picked lemons. It’s delightful atop a scoop of roasted pineapple coconut sherbet or charred corn curd, cotija & Tajin.

Be warned– after spritzing your homemade margarita, you may never revert to drinking them without an extra dose, or “swoon,” in your glass.

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