My husband and I are a mixed marriage, so we celebrate both of our holidays, and I relish the culinary excitement Passover brings as I make special dishes for him and his family.
I’m always looking for ways to add new flavors to our Passover table and was so excited when I saw the bent spoon, an artisanal ice cream shop in downtown Princeton, had created a series of sorbets and ice creams inspired by the Seder plate, the symbol of the Passover holiday. The Seder plate, with symbolic foods on it, helps tell the Passover story.
Very excited about the legendary creativity of the ice cream makers at the bent spoon, I headed to Palmer Square to try all the flavors. They are in order of my preference, with a brief explanation of what each part of the Seder plate they represent according to detailed explanations on Chabad.org.
•chocolate w/chocolate covered matzo (matzo & shank bone)-This is a rich dark chocolate ice cream made with chocolate covered matzo pieces mixed throughout. It was sublime and a true chocolate fix, probably the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had. The broken matzo looks like bone pieces, which represent z’roa, the shank bone.
The shank bone is Pesach offering brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The matzo is unleaved bread symbolic of the Jews fleeing Egypt so quickly their bread did not have time to rise.
•raspberry Manischewitz (wine)-The Concord grape flavor of the Manischewitz wine blends with the tart organic raspberries to create a rich, intensely flavorful sorbet. There are some wine notes at end, but most of the alcohol is cooked out during the sorbet-making process when the wine is added to the sorbet base. Even though the Manischewitz wine tends to be very sweet, the sorbet itself is balanced from the tartness of the berries. The sorbet gives you that pleasurable tart-tingle in your cheeks. Rumor has it that is better than the regular raspberry sorbet.
Manischewitz is a sweet Kosher wine drunk during the Seder meal.
•charoset (charoset)-Charoset ice cream is made with organic dates, cinnamon, locally-sourced Terhune Orchards apple cider and honey candied citrus pistachios. Overall, it is cinnamon-y with a citrus note and tartness from the cider. Even with all the lovely flavors, which are perfectly balanced, the cider taste does come through and gives the ice cream a bit of a tang.
Charoset is a mixture of apples, nuts and wine, is reminiscent of the work the Jewish slaves were forced to do.
•kale kumquat (chazeret)-Kale is used to represent the leafy lettuce on the Seder plate in this green ice cream. The kumquat makes the ice cream citrusy, but you do get the mouth feel of eating dark leafy greens. It is very refreshing, creamy and smooth.
This flavor represents the chazeret, a second portion of bitter herbs during the Seder meal.
•double yolk vanilla (beitzah)-This decadent vanilla ice cream contains twice the egg yolks if their traditional base, leading to a super creamy, extraordinarily rich mouth feel with good vanilla flavor.
The double yolk represents the beitzah, a hard-boiled egg on the plate, which reminds Seder participants of the festival offering which was brought to the Holy Temple on Pesach.
•parsley salt (karpas)-Parsley is a pale green ice cream with made with sea salt. It has a pleasant grassy flavor from the herb with a distinct salty flavor along with the creaminess. Even though it is a savory flavor, there is a bit of creamy sweetness.
Karpas is an offering such as parsley, dipped in salty water to represent the tears of the Jews as they fled Egypt.
•green apple horseradish (maror)-The first thing I noticed about this ice cream was the horseradish aroma when the sample was passed over the counter. There is a little tart green apple at the beginning but then the fresh horseradish takes over. I’m glad I tried it last because the horseradish flavor is so strong; it lingered on my palate and in my sinuses for quite a while.
The maror represents the bitterness of suffering of the Jews in Egypt.
The amazing spoonie (that’s bent spoon lingo for employee) behind the counter explained each flavor in detail and said the shop would have the flavors as long as the batches last.
the bent spoon
35 Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ 08542
Victoria Hurley-Schubert, Regional Editor Ocean County, is a true Jersey girl. Raised in Marlboro, Vikki has lived in the area her whole life. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and is happiest when feeding a houseful of friends and family. A journalist for 10 years, she now serves as media coordinator at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Vikki is happiest on the road, so it should be no Surprise she is a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. Follow her on Twitter @vikkihs.