Ice Cream Avant-Garde Lives in Berkeley

Bay Area foodie reviews Sketch Ice Cream

I visited Sketch Ice Cream over a year ago, and raved about their Earl Grey ice cream with persimmon compote. So when I heard they had olive oil and sea salt ice cream among their new toppings, I couldn’t wait to go back and give it a try.

Olive oil and sea salt has been all the rage in the world of avant-garde ice cream for the past year. (Who knew there was such thing as an avant-garde ice cream world to begin with?)

It’s like the bacon of the cured meats world, the pomegranate of the fruit world. (Speaking of which, I’ve seen a lot of bacon and pomegranates making their way into ice cream lately -- not yet at the same time.)

At Sketch, I stood in their long line and decided to pair my olive oil and sea salt toppings with Sketch’s saffron-flavored ice cream, a choice recommended by the creamery staff.

I wish I could say that I loved the mix of sweet and salty and grassy flavors, but I wouldn’t really know, because it was so bland.

There was no saffron flavor in the saffron ice cream and I detected a hint of saltiness only very ocassionally. As for the olive oil, it was quickly absorbed by the ice cream and hardly retained any flavor of its own.

I’m really glad that the first ice cream I had at Sketch was exceptionally delicious, because despite my experience with their olive oil and sea salt combination, I’m still looking forward to going back for more. After all, everyone has a miss every now and then.

Sketch ice cream is located at 1809 4th St. in Berkeley.

Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years. She blogs regularly at

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