Affogato: Like a Gourmet Red Bull, and Love Is Where You Find It
You won't find affogato in most of today's fancy coffee bars. That's because, no matter how particular they are about the coffee and how they make it, they can't be bothered stocking gelato fine enough to go with their coffee.
"Affogato" means "drowned" in Italian. It consists of a long-drawn shot of hot espresso cascaded over a scoop of vanilla gelato. (Other flavors are available, but take my advice and stick with the vanilla.) The hot joe melts and mixes with the gelato, but like a brown cow, a good portion of it remains frozen in a wad that you can pick at with your long spoon.
Beloved in Italy, where every frozen-treat stand has an espresso machine -- and a good one, too -- the beverage has been rarer here until recently. It's like eating your dessert and drinking your postprandial coffee at the same time. Or, put another way, it's like Red Bull, delivering equal charges of sugar and caffeine. The bitterness of the espresso is admirably cut by the ice cream, and the treat more than a little resembles one of those cold coffee beverages you get at Starbucks, only good.
The new kid on the block, gelato-wise, is Love, which opened a store recently at the corner of Perry Street and Seventh Avenue South. They produce a fine, large affogato, and there's nothing better on a warm summer evening. Sometimes, in Italy, a corrective shot of amaretto is added to the mix. But then, of course, you'd have something more like a Four Loko.
167 Seventh Avenue South
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