Let's just skip the intro, and get to the point of this post: Food52 runscontests, where readers are encouraged to submit their 'best' versions of a given dish or kind of food (eg, Your best recipe with mint, Your best potato pancakes). I like these contests, because when I'm want to make a dish, I assume the judges have done my due diligence for me, and that the winning recipes have been validated as being worth a look.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Your best ice cream content. Surely this would identify a great new recipe for me to try (hopefully several, thanks to the runners up).
Ready for Food52's winning recipe? Olive oil-saffron with Burnt Orange-Caramel Swirl.
Wait, what? This is the best flavor out of the 100+ that were submitted? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this is good ice cream (I really enjoyed the olive oil gelato I had at Otto years ago), but this is the best?
Quick aside: How do they choose the winners? Do they really make every recipe that's submitted and do a taste test? And if so, how do I get in on that?
Back to this recipe: I can't imagine anyone looks at this list and picks that one, except on the basis of its complexity and number of ingredients (olive oil, saffron, burnt orange AND caramel? And again, long-time readers, you know both of those are big turn-offs for me.. I prefer short ingredient lists I already have in the house, and easy).
It won the contest, so it must be good. But it strikes me as fancyness (is that a word? Spell-check says no. I really could use an editor some days) for its own sake.
When you have a minute, check out the other flavors submitted. You think Vanilla-Bourbon Walnut Crumble, or Apple Cider Ice Cream with Walnut Pralines, or Honey Lavender wouldn't be able to provide some heavy competition to the champion?
You know what this reminds me of? The Pepsi Challenge. There are flavors that would probably taste great for one spoonful. But for a large bowl, give me a classic.