I spent a few weeks of the Summer of 2009 in the Willamette Valley. The purpose of my trip was to visit my friend Emma, and film some episodes of our cooking show, Kitchen Caravan. During those few weeks I got a real taste for Pacific Northwestern cuisine, and saw the real beauty of what that special Valley had to offer. I reveled in the rose petal jams, wines, truffles, mushrooms, marionberries, fresh salad greens, and hazelnuts/filberts. Everything was so simple and fresh, and of extremely high quality. Not that we do not have amazing produce here in New York, but there was something humble about the people's approach to food and life there that I really appreciated. It was naturally slow food, without presumption. I have been wanting to produce a Hazelnut flavored soft serve since then, and this Spring we finally did it.
We bought our hazelnuts from Freddy Guys Farmin the Willamette Valley, which is run by Barb and Fritz Foulke. They now have four generations of Foulkes on the farm, and everyone helps out with the harvest. They roasted the nuts fresh for us; all we had to do was finely grind them and infuse some goat milk. I wish I could take more credit for this flavor, but I think all of the credit should go to the Foulkes!! If you have ever had a Nocciola scented gelato, you will understand the beauty of a hazelnut ice cream. We hope you come in and try our newest flavor.