Friday, October 15, 2010

Gelato makes the world a better place

Ah. Ahahaha. Yes. I have made my way back to New Orleans and I must say that it is so far seeming like one of those perfect days: 80 degrees, clear and sunny. Not like the miserable, grey, 50-something drizzle I left behind in DC yesterday. (The District seems to be having an identity crisis, behaving more like "the other Washington" lately.) I was cruising around the Garden District today on a mountain-bike-on-loan from Gary -- *with* a corresponding helmet-on-loan, in case you're wondering -- looking for a spot to hang out and do some writing on DC Farm to School Week when what should I stumble across but the best gelato spot in town.

I'd actually heard of La Divina's locally-sourced deliciousness while researching dining options for myself and some friends in town for this weekend's Community Food Security conference, but hadn't noted its location. When I saw the sign on my way up Magazine Street I took it as, well, a sign. Kismet. And I was feeling a bit peckish....

With flavors like bananas foster, avocado, pumpkin, sweet potato pie, guiness, and aztec chocolate (and about a dozen others that I didn't sample...yet) rounding out the list with more traditional offerings like hazelnut and cappuccino, I can see why the shop draws locals and celebrities alike. With cream sourced from a nearby grassfed dairy operation and all-natural, largely local ingredients -- the chocolate imported from France is a-ok in my book -- it is a locavore's dream. A stop in seemed legit. I mean, if I'm continuing to learn about local food around the country, it seems only right that I should research and support small-scale producers like these guys. And it's good background for my upcoming trip to Italy. And did I mention they had *pumpkin* gelato??

I learned during a chat with Jason, a West Virginia native and one of the knowledgeable gelato gurus on his way to drop off a special order at Dante's (one of seven local restaurants that special order customized editions like last week's port and gorgonzola), that the inspiration for new flavors often comes from his twice-weekly trips to farms and farmers markets. New flavors were born all the time, and they were constantly rotating them in and out of circulation. Limited edition gelato? Good heavens, I'd no time to waste! His colleague behind the counter didn't even bat an eye as I sampled nearly a third of their flavors, in the end settling on a "piccolo" -- a small, two-scoop waffle cone with aztec chocolate and pumpkin.

It was a generous portion, as you can see, and thus my plans to write, as well as my plans to keep food from spilling onto my lap, were postponed a bit. Soon, though, you can expect a posting on DC Farm to School Week. First I need to figure out how I got chocolate on my elbow....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

1 comment:

  1. OMG, I just looked at the latest menu offerings at Dante's Kitchen. I may have to go there for more than just their customized gelato from La Divina the next time I am in New Orleans. (Oh, yes, there will be a next time....)


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