Coolhaus CEO Natasha Case has let the Jewish deli case inspire her latest line of ice cream sandwiches. By the end of August, you'll be able to sample such flavors as pastrami ice cream on a marbled rye cookie and potato latke applesauce ice cream on a hamantaschen cookie.
Are you really shocked? These are the same folks who brought you beer and pretzels, brown butter candied bacon and Peking duck ice cream.
Case call her new dubiously kosher flavors "a millennial twist on the decades-old staple of comfort food."
But Case, who is Jewish, says she wasn't just trying to come up with a gimmick. "I had most of the team in disbelief that these flavors wouldn't just cause intrigue, but actually be good," she said. "I mean, cream cheese and rye, latke ... pastrami ice cream!? But when we all tasted them, they worked."
The black and white cookie and the hamantaschen are currently available at Coolhaus' Culver City and Pasadena scoop shops. The rye cookie and the ice creams will debut later this month.
And yes, we tried them.
The pastrami ice cream on marbled rye cookie, which Coolhaus calls their "reuben ice cream sammie," was not as gut-wrenching as feared. The taste of the pastrami was subtle and luckily, the amount of meat sparse. What we tasted the most were the caraway seeds on the soft whoopie-style bun and the vanilla in the ice cream.
Apple-cinnamon flavor dominated the potato latke and applesauce on hamantaschen sandwich. Luckily there was no "French fry" flavor, just a little chunk of something that added salty contrast. The hamantaschen made a great ice cream sandwich cookie — crisp, sugary shortbread with a gloppy cherry center. The overall effect was like eating apple pie a la mode.
As for the cream cheese and rye on a black and white cookie — the cookie would do Jerry Seinfeld proud. It made the perfect sweet foil to the cream cheese and mascarpone ice cream. But we could have done just fine without the "nutty rye cracker swirl."
All in all, things could have been much worse. Case says she tried a few more Jewish deli flavors that didn't make it to the marketplace, most notably pickle ice cream. "That actually made the interns scream when they saw it," she said — and apparently the taste matched the visual.
Just be thankful Coolhaus didn't go the liverwurst and mustard route on this one.