Could This Be Italy’s Best Dessert?
Affogato – Dolce or Drink?
Everyone’s idea of deliciousness is different when it comes to food, drink, and (most certainly) dessert. Yao Yao would literally eat gelato morning, noon, and night. I, on the other hand, am not that big on desserts in general, with one huge exception: the affogato.
What’s an affogato? The word means “drowned” in Italian, and the recipe is simply a scoop of vanilla gelato in a chilled glass, which is then drowned with hot espresso. It’s not too difficult to see the allure here: the coffee jacks you up while the ice cream gives you a double whammy of “energy,” all while satisfying your sweet tooth. In most cafes, it’s a fairly small serving, too, so guilt shouldn’t get in the way of complete enjoyment.
But as with all things culinary, and especially with Italian food, the magic lies in ingrediente qualita. You can’t take Friendly’s ice cream and dump hot Tasters’ Choice on it and expect the same experience. That’s a ricetto per il disastro.
Some hip cafes are adding ingredients like grappa or the like, but I’m a traditionalist (although hot espresso over other flavors of gelati, especially the nutty varieties, are pretty darn tasty). That’s it: A chilled glass, a scoop of gelato, and a shot of espresso poured on. I promise, it will transform you. Buonissimo!