Ice Cream Throwdown Fundraiser for Ben’s Bells, Salt & Straw

ice cream show down

Ben’s Bells Fundraiser

This sounds like my kind of fundraiser: Eight local ice cream and gelato makers want to win bragging rights while you the people get to sample and judge the offerings. A portion of the proceeds benefit Ben’s Bells, a homegrown charity promoting kindness to all. Sweet.

The contenders are:

BrushFire BBQ Co
The Cup Cafe
HUB Ice Cream Factory
Isabella’s Ice Cream
Maynards Market & Kitchen
Sullivan’s Eatery & Creamery
Tazzina di Gelato
The Screamery

Tickets cost $10 (for 10 tastings) and you are urged to buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines of people trying to buy tickets. Extra tastings are $1 of which Ben’s Bells gets the entire amount. This is a family friendly event so look for surprises for the kids.

Location: Maynards Market and Kitchen, downtown Tucson from 6 to 8 pm. It’s also 2nd Saturday (September 10).

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mouthful of goodness

Salt and Straw

Last month I visited friends in L.A. and we went to Salt & Straw which is a strange name for an ice cream store. This place is over-the-moon creative dairy goodness which originated in Portland (figures) and then migrated to L.A.

Every time we went by, there was a line. My demographic doesn’t like to stand in lines but there are well worth exceptions.

Sometimes too many flavors or too exotic flavors or too weird combination of flavors don’t work but at Salt & Straw they amazingly do.

First, the service was outstanding – our scooper or ice cream associate – said the scoops were as big as tennis balls when I ordered two scoops. I told her I had just waited in line for 25 minutes and was leaving town the next day, so calories be damned.

I chose avocado and roasted strawberry sherbet plus green fennel and maple ice cream. The latter was subtle but had a lingering taste of fennel although I couldn’t discern any maple. Roasted strawberry overpowered the avocado in a pleasing way but the avocado added creaminess. I was not disappointed.

Christine favored sea salt with caramel ribbons which lived up to its name plus another flavor made with real kernels of sweet corn.

She also tasted black olive brittle with goat cheese ice cream and deemed it superb. In retrospect, I wish I tasted the roasted eggplant with honey. I cannot imagine how that would fly in ice cream.

Flavors change monthly but popular standbys remain.

Nobody young or old seemed to mind standing in line on Ventura Blvd at 9 pm on a Sunday night nor did they mind standing in line in Venice either. In L.A. there is also a Larchmont location and soon to be in the Arts District downtown. I am so jealous!

And if you are a true Salt & Straw junkie, it can be delivered to your door – 5 pints for $65 + shipping.

Written by Karyn Zoldan who is craving really good ice cream, Day #8

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