A Sweet Way to Upcycle Ingredients

Salt & Straw’s new flavors include (from left) Ancient Heritage’s Curds & Whey; Toasted Baguettes with Chocolate Peanut Butter & Mixed Berry Preserves; Celery Root & Strawberry Celery Leaf Jam; and Spent Grains & Bacon S’mores.

Monica Buck

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.”

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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). 

A Sweet Way to Upcycle Ingredients