Lifestyle

Mushroom Ice Cream? Yup, And It’s Pretty Magical

The latest ice cream flavors making a huge splash from Portland, Ore., based Salt & Straw involves a very cool collaboration with Wunderground, an adaptogenic mushroom coffee and tea company out of Seattle. Here’s the scoop on this limited edition collection.

Calm down and chill out

Yes, this trio of innovative ice cream flavors is spiked with Wunderground’s adaptogenic mushroom coffee and tea, but relax. These sweet creations do not taste like mushrooms. Not shiitakes, nor crimini. Definitely not psilocybin ‘shrooms, man.

These mushrooms are an entirely different beast, proven to deliver feel-good qualities. Here’s how Wunderground’s founder described the project’s mission when it launched in June 2021:

“To create delicious functional beverages that deliver crave-able experiences, inspire wonder and make our minds and bodies healthy, focused, and strong—an antidote to the new normal of stress and anxiety. We embrace business practices that inspire meaningful human connection, build healthy communities and minimize impact on the environment.”

In the spirit of building community, a spirited collaboration with Kim and Tyler Malek’s brilliant Salt & Straw, the Mushroom Magic Pack delivers a whole lot of delicious.

Salt & Straw Meets Wunderground

Here’s how the team whimsically details the limited edition flavors:

Brainchild Coffee with Five-Spiced Hazelnut Praline: Boost your brain game. Brainchild is Wunderground’s bold, full-bodied roast, crafted with a powerhouse of adaptogens (hello, Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps!). When these mushrooms come together, it’s kind of like cardio for your noggin, meaning you’ll find yourself with a super sharp memory and some mega-focus. We start with their bright roast for our ice cream, then ribbon in salted caramel and house-made hazelnut praline. Revered throughout history, hazelnuts have long been equated with wisdom and inspiration. We candy them into a five-spice praline for a crunch that will ignite your tastebuds – and your brainpower. Let’s see what you can do. 250 milligrams Organic Lion’s Mane + 250 milligrams Organic Cordyceps in each scoop.

Dream Supply Chamomile and Candied Orange Sherbet: It’s chill o’clock. If Wunderground’s Dream Supply tea was in a Bob Ross painting, it would definitely be happy little clouds. Drift off on a dreamy chamomile cloud while Reishi and Lion’s Mane work together to soothe your stress receptors. We steeped the tea with Meyer lemon and honey before churning into cream. Then, we fold in house-made candied orange zest to bring out even more of the tea’s citrusy, floral notes. One ticket to dreamland, please. 250 milligrams Reishi + 250 milligrams Cordyceps in each scoop. (This one’s vegan.)

Hocus Pocus Red Velvet & Cocoa Nib Fudge: For mind, body, and joy. Wunderground’s Hocus Pocus harnesses the power of Chaga and Reishi (the ones that support your energy and immune system, and kick bad vibes to the curb). We amp it up with one of the most joy-inducing treats out there: red velvet. Our coffee-soaked red velvet tres leches brings a dark, intense coffee flavor that swirls throughout salted sweet cream. Fudge-y hunks of chocolate ganache studded with candied cacao nibs (another superfood adored for its antioxidant properties) sprinkled throughout add even more unadulterated bliss. Go on and take on the day – you got this. 250 milligrams Reishi + 250 milligrams Chaga in each scoop.

Thumbs up at a fun tasting

While the official launch of this lineup of flavors happened at Wunderground’s Cafe on Seattle’s Capitol Hill last week, the Mushroom Magic Pack is available for shipping nationwide for a limited time.

I got a shipment delivered to Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island, where my husband and I have been working as volunteer camp hosts during May. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I invited the park crew to participate in a tasting and serve up some feedback.

Brainchild prompted comments such as “it’s like eating a gingerbread house,” “loving that spice” and “coffee flavor works nicely with the pralines.”

Dream Supply was a few folks clear favorite: “Feels like summer” “Delightfully smooth with a touch of spark on my tongue” and “refreshing, very orange-y and that’s a good thing.”

Hocus Pocus prompted a “yummy” and “love the rich finish” but someone gave it a hard no, saying it was “too salty.” Well, that’s exactly one of the reasons it was my absolute favorite, a surprisingly bold contrast to the cocoa nibs and chocolate ganache. A real mood brightener.

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