CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

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Quicklick: Gelateria (at Caffe DaVinci)

Posted by cmh gourmand on July 21, 2013

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As you are all aware, the heat and humidity index has been less than ideal. Perhaps the heat of July is what inspired this month to be declared national ice cream month many years ago. While I consume more than an average amount of ice cream throughout the year, I find it extra appealing during the heat of summer. (Now wait a minute some astute readers of CMH Gourmand are thinking, the title says Gelataria – that means a place that serves gelato). Yes, ice cream and gelato are different. Those differences make gelato even more appealing on a hot day. Gelato appeals to my summer bred sloth and impatience when not given instant gratification. The differences between gelato and ice cream make gelato an even better choice during the peak of the heat.

I have written in the past about my policy of having ice cream “sweat”. I don’t condone eating ice cream instantly. It is often served “hard” from the container – still very cold and resistant to quick licking. I prefer to wait about 5 minutes to let the ice cream start to melt. This improves the flavors and how they mix together, limits the dangers of the ice cream headache and makes ice cream easier to lick, spoon or slurp. Gelato is stored and served about 15 degrees warmer than ice cream, which means it is at optimal consumption temperature the second it slides into the bowl. It is also made with less cream and more milk so it is a less heavy to the taste and slightly lower in fat therefore less likely to propel one into an ice cream coma after completion.

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So yes, I am a fan of gelato but it is a rare thing in Columbus. The few places where I do find it, I often walk away disappointed because it is typically just repackaged mass-produced gelato from elsewhere which is neither fresh nor refreshing. I wrote about the Caffe DaVinci Gelateria way back in 2007. I did not forget about the place but I had mistakenly thought Caffe DaVinci had closed. Driving by recently, I saw the open sign in the window and decided to see if their gelato was still as good as I remembered it.

It is. Twelve rotating flavors are offered. The staff behind the serving freezer are friendly (they have the best job in the building) and they are assisted with translations of the flavors on the back of each sign. Samples are encouraged. Servings and samples are both ample. I can not think of another place in town that would have better or more authentic gelato to offer. The owners are clearly gelato enthusiasts as shown by proudly displaying photos of famous gelaterias throughout Italy. Other than not honoring the tradition of paying first before ordering, the rest of the gelato experience here will be pleasing to the palate and cool you sufficiently to survive the rest of the summer.

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