ALBANY, N.Y. -- Adirondack Creamery specializes in flavors seldom found on store shelves and its newest offering, Syrian Date and Walnut, is helping people who seek a better life in America.
Creamery owner Paul Nasrani says the flavor was inspired by tasting a traditional maamoul cookie.
"It is enjoyed by Syrians of all faiths and it is date and pastry in it, so once I sampled that I said that is where I want to go with this new flavor,” Nasrani said.
"I really enjoy it,” said John Akots, the director of marketing at Albany’s Honest Weight Food Co-op. “It is really creamy, not too sweet."
The team at the co-op, one of the handful of local stores selling Adirondack Creamery products, was eager to offer the new flavor not just because of its unique taste, but also its story.
"If a brand can actually give some good back to the world, that is something that is important to us. A lot of brands that we carry do that," Akots said.
Inspired by his own family's history, Nasrani will donate half of the flavor's proceeds to the International Rescue Committee's efforts to aid Syrian refugees.
"My father was a new immigrant and he came from Pakistan and my mother‘s family came on the Mayflower,” Nasrani said. “As I reflected on my own family, I thought they are not that much different from these people who are trying to come here today.”
Hoping to help those seeking a better life in America make a smoother transition, Nasrani is certain few things say welcome more than a scoop of ice cream.
“Food shared across the table breaks down a lot of cultural barriers and it can remind us that more makes us united than separated," he said.
Adirondack Creamery launched 13 years ago in Lake George and is now based in Kingston and Queens. Flavors from Kulfi-Pistachio Cardamom, which features Indian spices, to High Peak Perk, made with ground coffee beans, are also found at local ShopRite stores and Whole Foods.