It’s official: I’m breaking up with Ben & Jerry’s. There’s a new frozen delight in my life, and its name is Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato.
In a private tasting last night at the gelateria’s recently opened Dupont location, a few lucky ducks were invited to sample the expansive summer menu. It was mind-blowing. Possibly even life-changing. I’ve eaten a lot of sorbet, gelato and ice-cream in my day, but nothing has ever come close to the bright flavors and subtle complexity of what I experienced last night. I admit I was skeptical going in, as many of the offerings sounded more like salads than sweets. Basil-flavored gelato? Cucumber mint vodka? With every bite however, my cynical little heart melted into a pool of blubbering mush.
If you’re unfamiliar with the shop, the concept is simple: think local, eat well. Passionate about supporting the area’s growers, co-owners (and spouses) Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman use only fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms, and travel to Pennsylvania to get their milk, cream and butter. The menu changes weekly to reflect which fruits and vegetables are at their peak, so you never quite know what to expect.
Handmade in classic Argentine style, the flavors are spun each morning in Dolcezza’s Georgetown shop. The basil sorbet – my favorite – was savory yet sweet, packed with gentle notes of lemon. I could have sat down with a pint of the cucumber and been a happy woman…and I don’t even like cucumbers. Even ubiquitous flavors like dulce de leche and vanilla were born anew with an exquisite richness and depth. Of the 20 or so flavors I sampled, each was a little miracle in its own right. And in the face of next week’s relapse into the high-90s, refreshing little miracles are sounding just about right.
Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato has locations in Dupont Circle, Georgetown and Bethesda, and sells at six different farmer’s markets throughout the city.