Yesterday was the kind of hot that makes it hard to even think about eating. And for me, that's saying a lot. Fortunately a lunchtime errand took me to Union Square, right in the vicinity of The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck's daytime haunt on 17th and Broadway. Unfortunately the chocolate pump was not working--choinkwich craving denied. So I decided to try an ice cream topping combo that has long intrigued me: olive oil and sea salt... Meredith Kurtzman, master pastry chef at Otto, is famous for her olive oil gelato. And I've heard account after account of how delicious it is. As much extra virgin olive oil as I consume on a regular basis, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that the idea of olive oil in desserts has always made me a little squeamish. But, I decided to brave unfamiliar territory and try a cup of vanilla soft serve topped with olive oil and sea salt, after all, the BGIC man himself hasn't steered me wrong yet.
The rich and earthly flavor of the Greek extra virgin olive oil and simple sweetness of the vanilla soft serve plus the sprinkling of the sea salt made for a winning combo. The verdict? Certifiably delicious.
For those who are perhaps a little nervous about venturing into an olive oil topped ice cream world, here's a little primer for optimal enjoyment.
For starters, the outside of the ice cream is nicely drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, but like any topping coated ice cream you have to pace yourself. If you immediately attack just the outside of the ice cream the salt and oil might overwhelm you.
You need to balance the sweet inner bites with savory and salty outer bites to find that perfect harmony. But what about when I'm halfway done with the ice cream and the outer bites are all gone? Fear not! There's more olive oil and sea salt at the bottom of the cup that you can spoon up over the rest of your ice cream.