Review: Salt And Straw's New Mango Pie Flavor Should Replace Your Thanksgiving Dessert

Salt & Straw is committed to creating unique and decadent flavors that support communities and creative individuals. Founders Kim and Tyler Malek started making ice cream in the basement, but it's their passion and commitment to a great product that has helped make Salt & Straw one of the most celebrated premium ice cream brands on the market. During the holidays, this creativity goes into overdrive.

Enter Hrishikesh Hirway, musician and co-host of "Home Cooking" and host of the "Song Exploder" podcast and show, who collaborated with Malek to bring an incredible new ice cream flavor just in time for Thanksgiving. Fittingly, it's based around a very special family dessert.

For the Hirways, the Thanksgiving meal is a blend of Indian flavors and American Thanksgiving classics. And while every family member has their own second-helping-worthy favorites, nearly everyone agrees on one thing: The mango pie prepared by Hrishikesh's mother, Kanta Hirway, was the feast's main event.

Sadly, Kanta was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), and could no longer continue cooking the way she used to, so Hrishikesh learned how to make the family favorite in her place. Kanta passed away in 2020, but her memory lives on. This holiday season, Hrishikesh and Salt & Straw have teamed up to memorialize Hrishikesh's mother and her beloved dessert in the holiday ice cream offering of Mom's Mango Pie. We were eager to get our hands on a pint for an early taste, and it turns out that pumpkin pie has some strong Thanksgiving dessert competition.

Mom's Mango Pie offers a nod to India and Philadelphia

You know you're off to a good start when the very first ingredient listed on the carton for a mango-flavored ice cream is actual mango puree (no artificial flavors here). The tropical fruit is followed by your typical ice cream partners in crime: milk, cream, and sugar. The base, per Salt & Straw, is intended to reflect the popular South Asian frozen custard kulfi.

The crust portion of the ice cream comes in the form of graham cracker crumbs. According to Salt & Straw, this is a direct nod to Kanta Hirway's original mango pie recipe which include a crust made from graham crackers (Keebler, specifically).

Butter, tapioca syrup, milk powder, and egg yolks are also added to the mix. (We imagine those egg yolks help the ice cream bring out that beautiful golden yellow color of a perfectly ripe mango.) Cream cheese, another ingredient in Hirway's recipe, also makes an appearance, though the pie's Cool Whip topping has been axed — though there's plenty of creaminess to make up for it. 

This premium ice cream carries a premium price tag

If you live in Oregon, Las Angeles, Orlando, Anaheim, San Diego, Seattle, Miami, or Northern California, there's likely a Salt & Straw location near you. For a taste Mom's Mango Pie, prices start at $5.75 for a small kids-sized scoop. A single serving will set you back $6.95 while a double scoop goes for $9.50. For  $7.45, you can opt for a split scoop, which are perfect if you can't make up your mind between all the delicious flavors. You can also purchase individual pints for $12.95 to have on hand for the holidays. Along with the option to pick-up in-store, they're available for local delivery.

However, if you live far from a Salt & Straw location, you can still get your hands on this special holiday treat. For nationwide shipping, you'll need to choose at least five pints. They can be all the same or five different options; it's all up to you. Five pints will run you $85, with an additional sixth pint costing a discounted $10.

Then, Salt & Straw packages your order in a hearty cardboard box packed full of dry ice to keep it fresh, and you'll soon have a delicious selection of flavors that will accent your holiday meals perfectly.

Don't wait until 2023 to try Mom's Mango Pie

Salt & Straw offers a menu of standard flavors, many of which have stuck around for years. However, the high-end ice cream brand offers a wide range of rotating seasonal flavors, and Mom's Mango Pie falls into that category. You'll from now until the end of December to enjoy a scoop. This means Mom's Mango Pie can appear on your Thanksgiving menu as well as at your Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve celebrations. It's undoubtedly an ideal dessert offering for any large gathering and seals a holiday meal with a sweet treat. Of course, you can always purchase several pints and store them in your freezer to enjoy down the road.  

Mom's Mango Pie is just one of several Thanksgiving-inspired flavors from Salt & Straw. Other 2022 offerings include Parker House Rolls with Salted Buttercream, Caramelized Turkey and Cranberry Sauce, and Roasted Peach and Sage Cornbread Stuffing. The lineup also includes a vegan flavor: Pumpkin & Gingersnap Pie. And come December, expect new Salt & Straw scoops for the Holidays.  

Salt & Straw knows how to explore flavors

Not only is Salt & Straw devoted to producing a top-quality product, but the company is also focused on frequent innovation, offering a constantly rotating selection of flavors whether it be odd cheeses, spicy ingredients, and other items you wouldn't tend to associate with ice cream.

While the company plays with its flavors year-round, holidays create an extra special creative opportunity. For example, Salt & Straw has offered a bug-filled ice cream in the past during the spooky and kooky Halloween season. Even the everyday flavors aren't simple. With flavors like Honey Lavender and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, Mom's Mango Pie fits the bill of an ice cream that sounds family but with tasty materials spun anew.

Mom's Mango Pie also falls in the category of other offerings that feature desserts like Chocolate Gooey Brownie or Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. But one of the best parts of Salt & Straw is that even its even most far-out ice flavors aren't just produced for mere novelty. Take the Salty Donut Guava + Cheese. This Cuban-inspired delight is unexpectedly sweet and delicious, with all that guava goodness mingling with a bit of cheese. If you happen to be a fan of that one, then Mom's Mango Pie will definitely be in your flavor wheelhouse.  

Premium is reflected in the nutrition facts

Taking a look at the stats on the back of the pint, a ⅔ cup serving of Mom's Mango Pie contains 18 grams of fat including a hefty 11 grams of saturated fat (that's 53% of your daily value), along with 75 milligrams of cholesterol and 330 calories. According to Healthline, the average premium vanilla ice cream contains 280 calories for the same amount of ice cream. The calorie count of Mom's Mango Pie is high even compared to other Salt & Straw flavors. For comparison, the brand's Double Fold Vanilla contains 310 calories per serving.

As for sodium, you're looking at 390 milligrams, plus 30 grams of sugar and 39 grams of carbohydrates per serving. We completely understand if those figures don't mesh with your current diet. Of course, decadent desserts tend to be a highlight of any Thanksgiving meal, and Mom's Mango Pie certainly fits the bill. 

We loved Mom's Mango Pie

Seeing as the whole intent of Mom's Mango Pie was to capture a favorite family dessert, we think it pulls off that task handily. With each bite, you'll enjoy a very smooth and not-too-sweet base with only the slightest hint of that mango taste. But you'll also come across some darker orange areas and that's where the tropical fruit flavor truly shines.  

The mango, however, shares the spotlight with graham crackers which are well integrated throughout the ice cream. They are not in big pieces. Instead, it's more of a crumb, almost acting as a seasoning. Depending on your palate, you may even find the graham cracker flavor to be more pronounced than the mango. But with the two flavors combined, it's abundantly clear that this ice cream can trace its roots back to a pie. Who needs pie a la mode when you capture the best of both worlds in a single scoop? 

Salt & Straw makes an exceptional ice cream

Many premium ice cream brands create delicious flavors, so you may wonder if Mom's Mango Pie's is worthy of a spot in your freezer. While we recognize that Salt & Straw is rather pricey, we think it's worth purchasing. There's the phenomenal tropical flavor, of course, but the incredible backstory of the ice makes it taste that much better. 

If you live near a Salt & Straw, it could be an excellent holiday-time outing to grab scoops of the full Thanksgiving lineup (definitely take advantage of the split scoop option). And if you live far from a scoop shop, having several pints shipped to your home is still worth it. After all, you'll get free shipping, and if you pick up one pint of each flavor, that will cover the minimum number of pints required for an order. But if you opt to go Mom's Mango Pie all the way, we wouldn't question that decision.