Saturday, June 17, 2006
I am writing from Vancouver. I arrived last Saturday and am settling in. Settling in because I will be working and blogging from here for the next few months. During this time, I hope to discover, eat and review some interesting food destinations. I was in Vancouver a year ago to visit family and friends. The first thing I did on my last visit--directly after I came into the city from the airport--was to have a pistachio affogato from Mondo Gelato. On this trip it took as long as a day before I had this tasty dessert.
An affogato is a simple Italian dessert: espresso poured over top of gelato. With simple desserts, the quality of the ingredients are often what makes them good. The better the espresso and the gelato, the better the affogato. For people who like espresso and gelato, a good affogato is a must!
I don't drink coffee often: possibly a cup once or twice a year. I love the smell of coffee, but drinking it just makes me hyper and jumpy. For me, being more hyper just results in a melt down. So, it sometimes seems odd to me that I like the combination of espresso and gelato so much.
Over the years I have had many flavours of affogato. My favourite, however, remains pistachio. The rich roasted flavour of pistachio brings back memories of cracking open roasted pistachios as a child. The nuts were always lightly salted, which helped enhance the subtle nutty flavour. The pistachio gelato at Mondo is the best pistachio gelato (or pistachio ice cream, for that matter) that I have had. I have also made pistachio gelato several times, using various recipes, ingredients and techniques, and I still can't make one that tastes as good as theirs. Because I like Mondo's so much, I seem to try pistachio gelato almost everywhere that I travel. I have also been told that their espresso is excellent by those who are more adept in that area.
Mondo Gelato is a chain that has stores in Vancouver, San Francisco, Beijing and Italy. So, if you happen to be in a city with a Mondo Gelato, sit down and try a simple and very satisfying affogato. You might also become hooked.