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Food

Pastrami Ice Cream, Anyone?

Pastrami, cream cheese and latke-applesauce are among the Jewish-deli flavors available at the Coolhaus ice cream shop in L.A. Seeing is believing, so watch the video!

Ice cream flavors like pastrami and latke-applesauce sound insane — until you see the rest of the roster at L.A.’s .

Think Cuban cigar (liquid “smoke” and coffee), Peking duck and pancakes & syrup (no explanation needed).

But of all the wacky, brilliant flavors Natasha Case and Freye Estreller have unleashed on the world since launching Coolhaus in 2008, its new Jewish-deli lineup may have struck the loudest chord.

“These are ultimate comfort-food flavors,” Case told the Forward from Los Angeles, where Coolhaus operates a shop in Pasadena, along with trucks in New York, L.A. and Dallas. “It triggers so many memories, and such strong nostalgia.”

The pastrami flavor is about “salty, sweetness, savory, fattiness,” Case said. “A lot of those flavor profiles are not that different from what our ice creams do already, like our brown-butter candied bacon. We thought you could get the same thing with texture of pastrami, the pepperiness of its skin.” For the perfect pastrami ice cream sandwich, caraway seeds were added to the marbled-rye cookies to capture rye-bread’s essence.

Image by Amy Atkins Sawyer

Latke and applesauce ice cream is sandwiched between hamentaschen cookies.

Likewise, the latke-applesauce ice cream drew on another Coolhaus success. “We’d played around with the saltiness of potatoes in our ice cream, adding things like shoestring fries,” Case said. “For this one, we used potatoes in our baked-apple base. That’s latkes and apple sauce. And it’s sumptuous.”

Next for Coolhaus? “We want to go more toward the breakfast theme,” Case said. “We already have pancake and syrup. We may also try to use more coconut milk for vegan flavors.”

Oh, and keep an eye out for pizza ice cream: mascarpone base, basil, sundried tomato, sea salt and olive oil.

“Our flavors are not for everyone,” Case said, with admirable understatement. “There was some “oy gevalt” reaction to the pastrami. But it’s about making a statement and taking a risk.”

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.

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