A Sweet Way to Upcycle Ingredients
Even in the foodie mecca of Portland, Oregon, where options abound, Salt & Straw fans have been known to wait in hour-long lines for a scoop of, say, Pear & Blue Cheese or Cinnamon Snickerdoodle ice cream. “We’re lucky to have incredible ingredients at our fingertips,” says co-owner Tyler Malek. “Portland is home to some of the world’s best small, sustainable family farms.”
This project is all about proving there can be a viable supply chain for these ingredients.” —Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw co-owner.
This summer, the brand aims to shine a light on the problem of food waste with four new flavors. Curds & Whey makes delicious use of by-products from the city’s Ancient Heritage Dairy, while Spent Grains & Bacon S’mores takes out the trash for nearby Breakside Brewery. Sauvie Island Organics farm provided its excess celeriac harvest for Celery Root & Strawberry Celery Leaf Jam, which also incorporates the leaves typically discarded in restaurant kitchens. And Urban Gleaners, a Portland nonprofit that funnels surplus edibles to food pantries, ponied up leftover bread and fruit for Toasted Baguettes with Chocolate Peanut Butter & Mixed Berry Preserves. Salt & Straw will repay that last favor by donating a portion of the proceeds from all four flavors to the organization.
“This project is all about proving there can be a viable supply chain for these ingredients,” Malek explains. “There’s a pattern to food waste, so if we can intercept it and open up the supply for people who need it, that’s incredibly meaningful.”
The Rescued Food series flavors mentioned above are exclusive to the Portland location, but are also available online at saltandstraw.com/shop. Salt & Straw’s Los Angeles and San Francisco outposts also have their own, unique Rescued Food flavors developed through partnership with local organizations (though they aren’t available online).