Did you guys read Elizabeth Weil's article in Sunday's New York Times Magazine about the Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop in San Francisco? I did, and I reacted with equal parts fascination and revulsion. Fascination, because ice cream flavors like Malted Milk Chocolate, Candied Ginger, Cinnamon Brittle, and Brown Butter sound so good that I seriously considered hopping in my car and driving up to San Francisco to try them.
(Okay, that was a total lie. I loathe that drive.)
But then I kept reading, and I learned that the owner and mad scientist behind the shop also makes prosciutto flavored ice cream, foie gras-gingersnap ice cream sandwiches, and a coconut caramel sorbet with candy cap mushrooms.
I said mushrooms.
Now I love mushrooms more than the average person. In fact, I sliced up a fat portobello last night and topped it with a knot of spaghetti. What I did not do, however, was churn that fungus into a creamy, iced, dairy dessert.
But Jake Godby of Humphry Slocombe did, and does, apparently do such things with mushrooms, and jalapenos, and cheese, and pork. And, according to the NYT article, he's both despised and beloved for this barrier-breaking artistry, and his chutzpah. Godby didn't appear out of nowhere, either, simply to shock. He honed his pastry chops at some of San Francisco's most revered, high-end restaurants.
Since I haven't eaten there, though, let's broaden the discussion to one about originality, and whether, and how much, you and your palate like to experiment. I mean, do you essentially make the same 10 or 15 dishes over the course of a month? Do you eat at the same restaurants over and over? When you hit the cereal aisle, do you, or do you not, always reach for the same familiar box?
Maybe we'd all be better off if we shook things up a little.
Given the list of ice creams at Godby's shop, tell me which 2 or 3 you'd order, and which 2 or 3 you would, quite simply, not, even if offered large sums of cash money. Be honest now.
As for my profiteroles above, I won't tell you what kind of ice cream I tucked inside. Use your imagination.(Maybe it's Vanilla Motor Oil.)