The Scoop: Dive into an icy affogato

ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Posted: June 13, 2013

The dish: Affogato is gelato topped with hot espresso. In Italian, affogato literally means "drowned." Normally, that's a bad thing. But I'm a crime reporter. And Italian. And married to a Seattle native who is as coffee-crazy as you'd expect for someone from the hometown of Starbucks. So it's all good.

Here's why you'd like it, too: Plenty of people prefer coffee with their dessert. This is coffee on your dessert. The piping-hot espresso melts the frozen gelato for a tasty experience in opposites. But it's a dessert you should eat without dawdling, unless you don't mind ice-cream soup.

The details: Traditional affogato is vanilla gelato doused with a shot of espresso. But you can use strongly brewed coffee instead of espresso, and ice cream of any flavor works. Or go crazy and throw a shot of Amaretto or other liqueur on there, too.

Order out: Capogiro (13th and Sansom and 20th and Sansom, in Center City; or 3925 Walnut St., in University City) offers it for $5. When I stopped by the 13th and Sansom site Tuesday, I ordered mine with cinnamon gelato, and that might now be my favorite affogato flavor. Besides cinnamon, assistant manager Melissa Lohr said, most customers prefer their affogato made with nocciola (hazelnut) or cioccolato scuro (dark chocolate) gelato.

Make it at home: No recipe needed. Just scoop whatever flavor gelato or ice cream you want into a bowl and pour a shot or two of espresso or strongly brewed coffee on top. Fussier gourmands might sprinkle shaved dark chocolate, coconut or hazelnuts on top. I say: Why mess with a good thing?


A summertime journey across the Philadelphia region in search of great ice cream and other frozen treats. Reported this week by Dana DiFilippo.

Have a fave we should try? Email conradl@phillynews.com.

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