There are two kinds of people in the world: the ones who gobble up new and unfamiliar foods like a bear in salmon season, and those who instinctively recoil at any uninvited morsel passed their way along with the innocent admonishment to “just try it!”
Full disclosure, reader: We are of the latter variety, and approach food with equal measures of apprehension, suspicion, and fear. Hunger might be the best sauce, but trepidation is our umami.
And yet here we are, reader, playing food roulette just for you — and, thankfully, biting an unexpectedly tasty bullet courtesy of local vegan ice cream purveyors Kind Kones: a kombucha float.
Yes, you read that right. Vegan ice cream, floating in a sea of fermented tea, melting slowly in a glass. We’re not ashamed to admit it; we were intimidated. After all, it sounds like something that should never be, a concoction straight out of a Gwyneth Paltrow fever dream.
For two weeks we tried to rustle up some company to brave the kombucha float with us, afraid that we would chicken out, bypass the ‘booch, and just panic-buy a tub of Kind Kones’ incredible ice cream instead. Alas, turns out everyone else has a real job, so this was something we were going to have to do solo. It’ll be character building, we whispered to ourselves in the car. Try new things.
The verdict? It was actually great. Unexpected. Sweet. Tangy. Exactly the kind of milkshake you would expect from a vegan ice cream parlor — but, y’know, in a good way.
We’ve been fans of Kind Kones ice cream for quite a while. Their sometimes-unorthodox flavors have always struck us as thoughtfully concocted, with high-quality ingredients, and unexpected twists. Everything is made in-house, from the ice cream base, to the bits of cookies and cake inside. It’s legitimately delicious, and no one will hate you for bringing a tub round as dessert.
However, it still takes a leap of faith to take that scoop and throw it inside a cup of kombucha, and honestly, we’re happy they did. We’re trying new things. It’s 2020 us. And when chaotic things work out, it gives us some kind of comfort in this crazy universe.
For our float, we tried the peanut butter ice cream, which paired with the kombucha very well – a creamy hit of sweet ice cream, laced with slightly salty ribbons of peanut butter, each lending rich body to the ‘booch as they melted.
The kombucha comes courtesy of Wonderbrew, whose offerings are so good that even after an ill-fated 2009 encounter with a very chunky, inferior ‘booch (we won’t name names) put us off the stuff altogether, Wonderbrew actually brought us back into the probiotic light.
For the uninitiated, kombucha is a fermented, naturally effervescent, ever so slightly alcoholic, sweetened black or green tea. Flavorings like juice or spices can be added, and its culture is a combination of bacteria and yeast, which form a sort of mat called a “mother” that ferments future batches. Its taste runs the gamut from clean, sweet, and tangy, to yeasty, bubbly, and vinegar-y. Some have bits floating about, while others are filtered.
Using Wonderbrew as the base was a great choice. It tasted clean and sweet, with nary a floating fruit chunk in sight (good news for us, as the stringy bits were never quite our thing). The ice cream, meanwhile, foiled its flavor perfectly, and turned the drink into a meal in the process (well, it’s a meal in our book).
Well, there you have it, readers. We took a leap of faith and, like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, landed on our feet. So, from one unadventurous eater to another: give the Kind Kones kombucha float a shot. Go on, just try it!
And while you’re there, get some of these — they are incredible.