By STEVEN DESALVO
For Montclair Local
In Montclair Eats, food writer Steven DeSalvo compares dishes at Montclair restaurants. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the University of Delaware, and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels.
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Spring is finally upon us! What better way to celebrate than eating everyone’s favorite frozen treat, ice cream. It is one of my favorite culinary inventions of all time. And I think it remains, to this day, one of the greatest things ever!
The three places I decided to sample all give quite distinct examples of the creamy treat we all know and love.
The first is Gelotti, where I had the entirely vegan and award-winning blueberry and basil gelato. Next was Absolute Zero, which serves Thai-inspired “rolled” ice cream. Last, but definitely not least, I went to Applegate Farms for a classic mint chocolate chip ice cream in a sugar cone.
At Gelotti, I felt obligated to sample the famous blueberry and basil gelato, which won the 2018 Grand Prize at the Gelato Festival America. The fact that it doesn’t contain any dairy is amazing, considering its light, airy, and creamy feel. The flavors of the ingredients are distinct and fresh. I would wager there is a little bit of acid added to accentuate the flavors. (Acid works like salt in that it brings other flavors to the forefront). Even the dark blue, almost-purple color of this gelato is beautiful. They have expertly featured the ingredients in a truly elegant way.
Next up was Absolute Zero, where I had the pleasure of enjoying the “Berry Blast,” which is a vanilla cream base that is mixed with finely crushed fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, topped off with more fresh berries and whipped cream. The ice cream here is made by pouring a cream and milk base onto a frozen “ice cream pan” that, after mixing with your preferred toppings, turns into an amazing textural and flavor experience. I highly recommend it — the little bits of frozen fruit really change the game.
Applegate Farms is a childhood favorite of mine, and likely of everyone else who grew up in and around Montclair. I have a strong affinity for their mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone. This is an example of “don’t fix what isn’t broken!” The texture of the ice cream is the standout feature; it is always the perfect creamy texture, right in between hard and soft. The consistency over the years is a real feat! And, I must mention, the perfect blend of mint and chocolate flavor makes me quite nostalgic.
Be sure to get out there and get your fix of ice cream as the weather slowly, but surely, gets warmer! Although I think that ice cream should be a year-round dessert option.
In this article:
571 Bloomfield Ave.
- Absolute Zero
410 Bloomfield Ave.
- Applegate Farm
616 Grove St.