Saturday, June 24, 2006

Gelato vs. Ice Cream

How in the world can you follow up a visit to the patisserie of a world-renowned chef? In this case, by crossing the river again and paying a visit to Cincinnati's venerable Findlay Market. From wandering down the wide covered sidewalk which is the Farmer's Market Shed, perusing freshly cut flowers and bedding plants, herbs, and organic fruits and vegetables (and where I lucked out and bought a gallon ziploc bag full of freshly picked baby lettuces for only $2), to strolling in and out of the produce stands surrounding the market house, the cool of this overcast morning made for a wonderful time to shop.

Since I'd read earlier in the week about Madison's Produce now making their very own homemade gelato, I had been dying to try it. Mary had had gelato at Amorino in Paris on her last visit and was mad about it. And so, after stopping in the new Bella Luna Deli, we headed off to Madison's. Although it was still only 8am, there were already a lot of shoppers out and about and while Mary stopped by an ATM, I went straight for Madison's freezer case, full of Madisono's Gelatos and Sorbets.

Curious to have a taste, I noticed a small counter near the back of the shop and soon a salesgirl came out to offer samples: Amarena Cherry and Vanilla. The cherry was sublime. Incredibly smooth and flavorful on the tongue, it left no discernible butterfat film on the roof of my mouth. Later, upon reading the label, I discovered that Madison's gelato contains only 6% butterfat as opposed to premium ice cream's 16-18%.

Madison's gelatos are pricey, even more than Graeter's, at $4.49 a pint. But they are also a totally different animal, lighter, yet full-flavored, incredibly creamy and delicious. For now, they are offering several flavors of gelato and sorbets, including the aforementioned Amareno Cherry, Stracciatella (chocolate chip), Chocolate, and Blueberry, as well as a bracing lemon sorbet. If you're looking for a change of pace this summer, consider one of these icy new delights as a dessert pairing with fresh fruit. Yum!

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