Affogato: an Italian sundae. Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you gelato, make affogato (ah-foe-GOT-toe).
We’re perplexed as to why this quickie Italian sundae—a scoop of gelato topped with a shot of espresso—is rarely found on Italian restaurant menus in the U.S. Most of them serve both gelato and espresso. Did someone lose the affogato recipe?
The next time you’re at an Italian restaurant, order an affogato for dessert. If they won’t make it for you, unleash your inner Robert Eroica Dupea—the character played by Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces”:
Order an espresso and a dish of gelato and combine them yourself.
Affogato means “drowned” in Italian. You can further drown the gelato with a flavored syrup or a shot of liqueur. Consider amaretto, chocolate, coffee, hazelnut or vanilla syrups or liqueurs—or go fusion with some Irish cream liqueur.
Make Affogato At Home
It’s easy to make affogato at home—as a treat for yourself or a surprise for family and friends. While vanilla is the traditional gelato flavor, chocolate, coffee and hazelnut gelato are even more delicious. (While it goes without saying, we’ll say it: You can substitute ice cream for gelato.)
In this cooking video, Giada Di Laurentiis tops vanilla gelato with syrup and and then adds a shot of hazelnut liqueur before topping the “sundae” with with hot espresso.
You can re-concept affogato from a sundae to a beverage by adding a scoop of gelato to a glass of iced espresso.
Check out all the different types of espresso drinks.
The difference between gelato and ice cream.