Even though summer’s dwindling down, the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler, we still have a few ice cream days left in the food holiday calendar! Today is National Coffee Ice Cream Day, a marriage of flavors, textures, and temperatures that makes perfect sense for warm summer days. The bitterness of coffee is tempered by the nature of ice cream–being, a sweet, creamy, frozen dairy dessert. It’s like having a latte, churned and frozen and creamy in your cup! I love coffee ice cream, above all because it’s a sweet confection that will also give me a caffeine buzz as well as a sugar high, hahaha. But also because, depending on how it’s made, it can have a very adult flavor, unlike a lot of otherice cream flavors which remind us of childhood. The strength of coffee ice cream is just the same as regular coffee: it can be made light and mild, with just the hint of coffee flavor among the cream, sugar, and whatever else you want to put in your ice cream (my favorite is Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch!) Or it can be strong and bitter, like espresso, with just enough cream added to the mix to make it, by definition, ice cream. Whipping up a batch of coffee ice cream is as unique as brewing a pot of French roast: the tastes and techniques will vary from one shop to the next.
And if you go for a bolder coffee flavor in your coffee ice cream than whatever you’ll find at Haagen-Dazs, you’ll want to check out Amorino Gelato on University Place. An Italian gelato shop that’s been making waves on both sides of the pond has a number of traditional Italian gelato flavors, including a coffee flavor brewed straight from the bean–no artificial flavorings here. Coffee lovers will adore this gelato, which, when you order as a cone, is served in a beautiful flower petal shape. Their dedication to authentic flavors means you get a deep, rich coffee gelato, so if you’re looking more for the latté than the caffé, try a sweeter alternative–they also offer a tiramisu flavored gelato, which has just a hint of espresso taste, instead of the full-bodied punch of the coffee.
60 University Pl (between 10th St & 11th St)
“Amorino wins the award for prettiest presentation hands down Have you ever ordered gelato and received a chilly rose made entirely out of gelato. Even better, each petal is a different flavor, and it’s theoretically possible to get all 22 flavors on the menu made into one massive flower. (Maybe next time.) Still, the flavors are all so pure and intense that we prefer to eat one or two flavors at a time, like coffee, made from Brazilian beans, chocolate-hazelnut or passion fruit.”–Restaurant Girl
“The server filled the cone first with the pistachio, which was a dark beige color rather than the light green tone you usually get and then padded it down with the coffee flavor artfully making it look like a flower. The nut flavor was intense from the pistachio and in the past pistachio ice cream was always more like a perfume of pistachio rather than a nut flavor. The strong coffee flavor offsetting the pistachio was a choice I was very happy with and I was more than satisfied before going to the chair.”–Lonely Planet
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Caffe – They forgone the subtleties for a very pronounced coffee flavor that we enjoyed very much. For all you coffee lovers, this is one flavor you have to try.”–Jason P.
“Jon F. and I put four flavors into a coppa piccola (small cup) and sampled the almond, pistachio, vanilla, and coffee. The almond and pistachio were phenomenal – creamy, rich and true flavors, and just enough sugar. The coffee was a nice dark robust flavor. The vanilla was too sweet, not creamy enough, and wasn’t as true a flavor as I hoped. It went very well with the coffee and the dark and sugary balanced out. I really enjoyed it and would love to come back.”–Suanne L.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!