Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Safeway culinary kitchens in Pleasanton, California. Wow! Did it ever feel fabulous to waltz through a professional kitchen once again. Ok, truth be told I could have planted myself in that test kitchen for days, following the staff around and soaking up all the culinary exploration. I’m sure I seemed like the nerdy female who is always raising her hand asking questions. Yep, that was me.
Not only were the Safeway hosts gracious and informative, the chef staff was exemplary. I had the opportunity to chat with many of the staff, watch first hand how products are developed and most importantly, how Safeway’s new super premium ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and gelato’s are made.
Safeway’s Open Nature product line are made using only ingredients from natural sources. There are no artificial ingredients and every product is thoughtfully prepared with as little processing as possible. I’ve used several of the Open Nature products in my home but I’ve never tasted the ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and gelato until now. After sampling almost all of the 23 flavors, I was blown away by the exceptional taste and texture of these products.
I feel a bit like an ice cream snob, because rarely does an ice cream meet my expectations. For example, I’m a huge fan of a simple chocolate ice cream but it’s not often I find a chocolate ice cream that is rich and melodious in chocolate flavor while perfectly sweetened. So I was over the moon excited (and surprised!) when I sampled the the Open Nature Super Premium Chocolate Ice Cream. The super premium chocolate ice cream is perfectly dreamy with a pure and lush chocolate taste, velvety texture and just the right amount of sweetness that allows the flavor of chocolate to shine. I could have stopped at the chocolate ice cream, but with 23 flavors of ice cream sitting on the counter I decided to indulge in sampling. I couldn’t find one that I didn’t like!
Although I completely fell in love with the chocolate ice cream, I believe my absolute favorite is the Prickly Pear Sorbet. A bright but elegant shade of pink, the prickly pear sorbet is sweet, delicately fruity and refreshing. I kept thinking as I snacked on my pink prickly pear sorbet cone with sprinkles, that this sorbet would make a most excellent champagne cocktail. Like many great ideas, I wasn’t the first to think of this as we were served a Prickly Pear Champagne Cocktail at Wente Vineyards that evening. The Prickly Pear Sorbet paired beautifully with the Wente Brut, setting the tone for all the delicious dishes and wine to be served later in the evening.
It couldn’t have been a lovelier few days. Great food and wine, new friends and of course the most delicious of ice cream!
To celebrate the launch of the Open Nature Super Premium Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato and Sorbet, Safeway has generously offered a $50 Safeway gift card for one of my readers. Look for the details on how to snag that gift card on my Facebook page here: Karista’s Kitchen on Facebook.
Of course I couldn’t write a post without leaving you with something delicious, so I’ve posted the gorgeous Prickly Pear Champagne Cocktail we enjoyed at Wente Vineyards. So perfect for summer and holiday celebrations!
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,