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Gelato at The Chocolate Fanatic in Amherst. Courtesy photo.




Try something new to you

You can get sorbet or sherbet almost anywhere regular hard ice cream is sold, but gelato is a bit trickier to find. Here are a few places to try:
• The Chocolate Fanatic (76 Route 101A, Unit 5, Amherst, 672-7133, thechocolatefanatic.org)
• Buza Dairy Bar (25 S. Main St., Concord, 856-8679, buzadairybar.com)
• Dolce Freddo Gelato (90B Fleet St., Portsmouth, 373-8886, dfgelato.com)
• Bloom’n Cow Ice Cream (55 Main St., First Floor, Newmarket Mills, Newmarket, 292-6559, bloomncowicecream.com)
• Twelve Pine (11 School St., Peterborough, 924-6140, twelvepine.com)




Beyond ice cream
The scoop on New Hampshire’s less common frozen treats

07/14/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Nothing says summer like going out for ice cream, and New Hampshire has no shortage of scoop shops. If you want to challenge your taste buds, resist the same old ice cream or fro-yo the next time you order and try a more under-the-radar frozen treat instead.

 
Gelato
Gelato is an Italian frozen dessert that looks a lot like ice cream but has some big differences. For one, gelato is made with milk instead of cream but actually comes out denser and smoother than ice cream. That’s because it isn’t whipped with as much air or frozen until it’s hard like ice cream is; it’s served at a lower temperature, giving it more of a soft-serve consistency.
Maria Marini, owner of The Chocolate Fanatic candy shop in Amherst, decided to start selling gelato after she tried it in its authentic form in Italy.  
“I’ve been to Florence and experienced the gelato there, and it’s a lot different than here,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to start carrying the real gelato. No one else around here carries it because you really have to know what you’re doing when you’re making real gelato.”
The Chocolate Fanatic sources its homemade, authentic Italian gelato from a gelato maker who emigrated from Venice, Italy, where he had learned the craft. Marini orders small batches at a time and restocks with fresh gelato weekly or biweekly.
The shop features 14 rotating flavors, including light and fruity flavors like orange chip, banana split, mango and pineapple during the summer, and richer flavors like espresso maple walnut, eggnog, apple pie and “holy cannoli” (vanilla gelato with cannoli cookies) during the colder months. Some of the most popular picks, Marini said, are the mocha chip, sea salt caramel and almond joy.
Flavors are more powerful in gelato than in ice cream due to the lower fat content of milk.
“The cream and fat in ice cream coat your taste buds and prevent you from experiencing the full flavors,” Marini said. “With gelato, since it has less fat, you can experience the flavors more intensely. Then you don’t need to add as much sugar, so that makes it even healthier.”
Because there are several different methods for making gelato, Marini said many customers come into the shop saying they don’t like gelato, citing a single instance when they tried some that was grainy and not prepared properly.
“People aren’t educated enough about gelato,” Marini said. “Of course, if you have a bad experience with a certain product, you may not want to try it again, but I just tell those people, ‘I want you to try ours, because ours is the real deal,’ and once they try it, they change their mind.”
 
Sorbet and sherbet
If you’re looking for a dairy-free option or something lighter than the milk- and cream-based frozen treats, try a sorbet. It’s made with a sweetened water base and fruit puree.
“The texture of a sorbet is a lot different than an ice cream. It’s more of an ice,” said Steve Padfield, owner of Memories Ice Cream in Kingston. “It doesn’t give you that full feeling like something with dairy does.”
Memories currently has homemade red raspberry, blueberry lemonade and mango sorbets, as well as a new flavor they debuted at the beginning of this month, acai berry. You can get it plain, or you can get the acai sundae bowl, which is the sorbet with fresh strawberries, banana and homemade granola, with optional add-ons of blueberries and peanut butter. Padfield said it’s a popular dessert in the West, but not many places sell it around here.
“The berry comes from the Amazon, so all you can find in this country is the puree, and even that’s hard to find. I have to order it from Chicago,” he said. “But I decided to go with it, and I think it’s going to be a new regular flavor because it has such a following. It’s definitely my new favorite.”
For a fruity treat that’s a little thicker than sorbet, try the sherbet. It falls between ice cream and sorbet; it’s made with the sweetened water and fruit puree, but it has a small amount of cream added to it. While it isn’t quite as low-fat as sorbet, it has a lot less cream than ice cream does and is still a lighter, healthier alternative.
“A lot of people aren’t aware of the differences between ice cream and sherbet and sorbet,” Padfield said. “They have it in their heads that ice cream is just what you get because they grew up as a kid going out for ice cream, and they’re stuck on it. But a sorbet or sherbet quenches your thirst and on a hot day is much more refreshing.”





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