The weather has gotten much more tolerable, but it is still the season for something cool and refreshing, especially after spending an hour-long meeting at an outdoor eatery and sitting directly in the sunshine. After talking to my new boss regarding a non-paid project that I’m doing as part of a workforce retraining effort for displaced financial services employees (the more gentle way of phrasing it), I had thought I might head to the grocery store in that neighborhood to load up on supplies. Instead, I realized that prior to doing any big shopping expenditures, what I really should do is to have a better idea of what I already have at home.
So, the next best thing was to treat myself to a gelato as I was already in the area. An Italian treat with which I fell completely in love during my time studying there, gelato (gelati in the plural) has a lower butterfat content than ice cream. Its flavor is also considered to be denser as less air is whipped into it than ice cream. Wikipedia has a description of other criteria for gelato. What I like about it is that the flavors are more intense and deeper than American commercial frozen dairy treats. This means that a small serving goes a long way to satisfying a sweet craving.
Grom* set up shop in New York a few years back and has become my special indulgence from time to time. There isn’t a store in my neighborhood [hint, hint] so this is definitely destination dining for me. What makes me take the time to make the extra stop in my day is the flavor of the gelato. I also like that they carefully source their ingredients and run their own organic farm to provide the materials for their products. They also have a chart that lets you know what you can eat in their store depending upon your food intolerances and/or allergies also telling you their policy for assisting those who are gluten-intolerant. This is taking customer service to a completely different level.
My choice, as seen above, was their monthly special for July: fior di latte all’amarena di Griotta. This roughly translates to Milk with candied Black Cherries. That name can hardly do it justice as it is more of a creamy almost vanilla soft ice cream consistency studded with chunks of toothsome, sweet-tart cherries. It was the perfect mid-morning pause in my very busy day and transported me back to a world where people do stop to take time to sit and relax in the town piazza with their friends.
If you aren’t a big fan of ice cream desserts, you can also try sorbetti. Sorbetti are made without milk and capture the best of fruit flavors. Try frutti di bosco (fruits of the forest) for a summer berry fix. No matter which kind you pick, once you take that first bite, you understand the Slow Food mentality. This is a dairy treat meant to be savored slowly, not gulped down in a few slurps. If you are in New York, I highly recommend a stop by Grom if you are in one of their neighborhoods.