Viking Feast Ice Cream’s Scandinavian roots make it perfectly suited for its home at the intersection of Finn Hill and Viking Way in Poulsbo, the Kitsap County town that calls itself Little Norway (that is also home to our first Central Market).
Thormod Skald and his wife, Asta Gunnlaugsdottir, immigrated to America from Iceland in 2008. Originally intending to settle in Port Townsend, the pair stopped for gas in Poulsbo. Coincidentally, it was the weekend of the town’s annual Viking Fest. Seeing the Scandinavian flags flying high was surreal, Skald said. The landscape reminded him of Iceland.
Arriving during an economic downturn, Thormod and Asta needed to find a way to support themselves. Thormod’s family had a long tradition of making ice cream –his great-grandmother had once traded homemade ice cream for supplies.
Since Iceland is home to only one type of cow, Thormod experimented with different types of milk — the most important part of making ice cream. He settled on milk from hormone-free, grass-fed Guernsey cows from Grace Harbor Farms in Lynden, WA. The heavy cream he uses comes from Twin Brook Creamery, also in Lynden.
Thormod went back to his Viking roots and tried skyr – a traditional Icelandic yogurt – to create the consistency he was after. He describes skyr as being thicker than Greek yogurt, but with less fat, and as helping to intensify the flavors of the berries or chocolate used in his ice cream. He is cautious about saying it is low in fat because it is not a diet ice cream, diet doesn’t sound appetizing to him.
Thormod started out trading ice cream for local berries, seeking the best products for a low cost. Now he is commonly up into the wee hours of the night, sitting with the ice cream machine to fill his orders. He makes about 300 pints each day. He hopes someday to purchase a bigger machine to be able to increase production.
“The next size up is $27,000,” Thormod said. “We would have to have a really good summer for that.”
Viking Feast Ice Cream is currently offered at our Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo stores only.