Thursday, August 19, 2010

La Dolcezza Vita

During these hot summer months, one can’t help gravitating toward cold treats that both cool you down and satisfy your sweet tooth. You can find old-fashioned ice cream at Larry’s in Dupont, frozen custard at the Dairy Godmother in Alexandria, water ice on H St. at Rita’s. Yet my favorite treat from the ice box has to be gelato.

During my time in Italy, it was next to impossible to stay away from the yummy goodness of this old-world treat. I was drawn to the rich flavors and textures that were beautifully layered on top of milk, cream and sugar; knowing that it had half the fat and calories of ice cream didn't hurt, either. It was hard to go more than a day or two without wandering into one of the gelato shops that beckoned to me from every corner.

Back in the District, my options were few and far between. I was lucky enough to discover the original location of Dolcezza, a local gelatoria located between Glover Park and Georgetown, that specializes in Argentinean gelato. The moment that I tried a bite of their rich and creamy valrhona chocolate, I was hooked. Their fresh artisanal gelato is made daily and features fresh - and local - ingredients. You will find local peaches, plums and nectarines being used in the summer; oranges and other citrus in the winter; and any other superior ingredients, such as cardamom, that pique the interest of the artisans.

I have spent many a night sitting outside of one of the three Dolcezza locations with friends. Each one of these evenings is colored not only by the flavors springing from each savory bite of the gelato but also from conversations shared with people I love. Sure, at first glance this frozen treat seems pricy for the size, but it repays your taste buds and memories in spades.

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