Say Cheese (and Win!)

To say that we like our dairy products here in the Kitchen is a bit of an understatement.  With almost a year of blog recipes under (or over?) my belt, I took a look back and found that all but a handful called for some sort of dairy product(s). It seems Julia Child, most chefs everywhere and I are all in agreement: everything tastes better with butter (or cream or cheese).

That said, I saw no conflict of interest whatsoever when the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council invited me up to the Finger Lakes region of New York to learn about modern dairy farming and (of course!) taste a few products.

So this past Friday, my friend Amy and I set out for Canandaigua, NY– about a 5-hour drive from where we live. With the alternative weekend plans being 5 hours standing around on a soccer field, this was an easy decision. (Did I mention the product tasting?)

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Gelato Break

My first real job was in high school, at the University Place Baskin Robbins.  It came with a brown, pink and white polyester striped uniform shirt (we had to buy our own brown polyester pants) and a below-minimum wage. That was all fine with me – I would’ve worked there for free.  I learned how to decorate ice cream cakes (quickly!) and how to scoop ice cream correctly (in an “S” pattern across the tub). By the end of the summer I thought I knew all there was to know about frozen desserts. But I was cold wrong.

It was the summer after college graduation, and I was backpacking my way around Europe solo. (And these were the Dark Ages, before cell phones, digital cameras, email and Facebook.) Traveling alone really forced me out of my shell, and I met people I never would have spoken to if I had been traveling with friends. While sojourning for a few days at the Cap d’Ail youth hostel in Southern France (you can only take so many churches and museums before needing a beach break), some of my new friends and I decided to take an overnight train to Venice for the day. Unfortunately, most of that day is now a blur (canals, bridges, gondolas). But one memory still rings clear: my first gelato. Che buono! It was pistachio, and even though it was smooth and creamy, it completely confused my mouth because the nut flavor was so intense. (Mouth: “Do I lick this or chew it?”) How could I have missed out on gelato for all these years??

Ever since that enlightening experience, I have a hard time passing a gelateria without stopping in for a little cup.  Even if the gelateria happens to be in the middle of a parking lot next to a CVS pharmacy, as was the case yesterday.

Angelato is a little gem of a gelateria, though most people I talk to about it have never been inside. Now that I have a blog, I can spread the word much more efficiently.  As a special offer for Subee’s Kitchen readers, just print out the last page of this post and bring it in to Angelato for 20% off your gelato order.

I’m still partial to pistachio, though Angelato also makes a hot chile chocolate flavor that I’m now addicted to. (It goes really well with coconut as well as pistachio; you can get two flavors combined if you order a medium cup.) It’s a little pricey, but the portions are generous and I think the small-batch quality is worth it. Plus, did you know that gelato is made from whole milk, vs. heavy cream – which means it has less fat than ice cream?? (2-8% fat, vs. 16-20% with ice cream, according to Angelato’s brochure and a quick Wikipedia search – which is all the research I need to justify the medium size.)

I wonder if they’re hiring.

Florham Village, Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park, NJ

Offer valid through May 31, 2012; not to be combined with other offers.