Food & Drink

One Great ... salty, crunchy ice cream topping

From Kathleen Purvis’ blog I’ll Bite, at

When the cookbook “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts,” the second by ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer, arrived on my desk, I had to crack the cover and smile. While touring with my books “Pecans” and “Bourbon” in the Savor the South cookbook series, I had the chance to make two fall trips to Nashville, for the Southern Festival of Books put on by Vanderbilt University. And Jeni’s, based in Ohio, has a major presence in Nashville.

On the first trip, I spotted a Jeni’s ice cream truck and used both brambleberry and bourbon butter pecan flavors to quench the fire from the famous Nashville hot chicken, served from a Bolton’s Hot Chicken truck. On the second trip, I had a car, which let me travel to the original Prince’s Hot Chicken. That night, I drove a group of cookbook authors and editors to dinner at Silly Goose in East Nashville. What a surprise: Silly Goose turned out to be right next door to a Jeni’s Scoop Shop. With six of us, we could sample and share a ridiculous amount of Jeni’s, including her “gravel” toppings.

Look for Jeni’s locations if you happen to be in Charleston, Atlanta (and Nashville, of course). If you aren’t, try her cookie-like Salty Graham Gravel. It’s the perfect thing to sprinkle on ice cream, homemade or store-bought. You can also sprinkle it anywhere else you need a salty/sweet crunch.