Sweets (and savory) for the Sweet
Sweet with your salty? Savory with your sugar? We’re known for pushing the gustatory envelope around here, and Oregon treat makers are no exception.
Take Salt & Straw, for example. The “farm to cone” ice cream shop in Portland’s Alberta neighborhood has been making headlines and twisting tongues with its wildly unique flavors like Brown Ale with Bacon, Pear and Blue Cheese and Honey Basalmic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper.
Also in Portland, the popular The Sugar Cube cupcake cart on southeast Belmont will break your heart with its distinctive combinations. Chocolate buttermilk cupcake covered in bittersweet ganache? Thank you. And salted caramel? Awesome. Crowned with Ruffle potato chips? Have mercy! The Sugar Cube also offers My Goodness My Guinness —a delightful combo of Guinness beer and ginger topped with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut. One bite and you’ll know why creator Kir Jensen has been lauded by Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Times and many regional food writers.
Lillie Belle Farms in Southern Oregon is setting the bar for savory chocolates with varieties like Black Pepper Ganche and Cayenne Caramel, and the only-in-Oregon Smokey Blue Cheese Truffles made with help from the award-winning Rogue Creamery. If you want heat with your sweet, try Lillie Belle’s Crunchy Fire (sugared pecans and fiery chile peppers in dark chocolate) or the “Do Not Eat This Chocolate” bar, a prize-winning mix of dark and milk chocolate heated up with Ghost Chile, Aji Amarillo and Chile Arbole.
If you like your treats bottled, take time to appreciate the work of Rogue Ales. The coast brewing company gives you something to chew on with Chocolate Stout, Mocha Porter, Double Chocolate Stout and Double Mocha Porter, to name a few. The sweet hints of coffee and chocolate bring out the best in these signature beers.
And for a sweet and savory combo unlike any you’ve tried before, we suggest The Joel Palmer House in the Willamette Valley town of Dayton. Chef Chris Czarnecki prides himself in working wild Oregon mushrooms into nearly every dish on the menu, dessert included. Look for offerings like the Candy Cap Creme Brulee (the candy cap mushroom has an essence of maple syrup), and Black Truffle Ice Cream (using the Oregon fungi with a slight mocha flavor.)
about author Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.
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