Adventurers are living in a time when satiating our deepest sense of wanderlust is no longer a luxury reserved for the rich and famous. With frequent flier programs, “travel hacks” and cheap accommodations marketed specifically toward explorers of the world, we are increasingly able to book vacations in the most exotic locations without having to break the bank. And let me tell you, it’s a great feeling to book an adventure of a lifetime on a dime!

Yet, while I traipsed through the wild jungles and gritty city streets of Thailand, pleased with my penny-pinching plans and ready to see the best of the “land of smiles,” there were moments filled with incredible wonder and splendor followed by an intense feeling of guilt and privilege (a strange and new emotion for me).

Ice cream is a staple of summer. It can also teach you about a city, if you get a scoop from the right place.

We learned this truth upon meeting Salt & Straw co-founder Kim Malek and visiting the inventive company’s first Los Angeles location that opened late last year. In between bites of street-food inspired flavors like Korean Fluffernutter and Green Corn Tamales, Kim shared with us how she got her start, where she finds inspiration for flavors, and, most importantly, why she’s serving up so much more than ice cream.

We’re sharing our full interview with Kim and how you, too, can get a taste of a city with a scoop, below.