Ice Cream, Gelato or Sorbet for Dessert — Passover and Beyond

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Ice cream, gelato and sorbetto can be ideal choices for Passover.

Obviously, to observe the holiday strictly, one would have to read labels to ensure that the ice cream is kosher for Passover, and avoid flavors like cookies and cream. Of course, skip the waffle cone. But that still leaves plenty of room for cool deliciousness during Passover — and even more room for the rest of the year.

I was recently tasked (again) with bringing dessert to my book group meeting. It was a busy week, and I had been working on an article about Chef Stephanie Reitano, owner of Capogiro and Capofitto, so I did not have a lot of time to bake.

As I drafted the article I was inspired to visit Capofitto for a few pints of gelato and a dozen sugar cones in lieu of rolling pastry, sifting flour and icing layers. This offering was a bigger hit than my Indian-inspired treats from last month, my homemade peach tart with mascarpone cream, my brownie love squares, Nutella bars, caramel fondue and the list goes on.

So it was a lesson learned — my literary co-aficionados had a blast scooping different flavors into their cones, and my hostess was thrilled to have no dishes for the final course. Win-win-win.

Capogiro Gelato Artisans provided an indulgent, fuss free way to cap off our meal, and I shall certainly repeat this dessert at future dinner parties. While the products are not manufactured in a kosher facility, they are made the old-fashioned way using the freshest natural ingredients without unnecessary additives like corn, wheat or rice.

If you choose this simple route to dessert, consider the following guidelines:

When the meal is meat, sorbetto is a perfect conclusion. It balances the heartiness of the main course with a refreshing burst of fruit, providing a delicious, light end to the meal. And if you serve a lighter dairy, vegetarian, fish or pareve meal, a rich, creamy gelato will hit the spot afterward.

The meaty richness of brisket or lamb would work well followed by a tangy, fruity sorbet. As you select the flavor, consider the profile of the meal. If you serve a straightforward braised brisket or roast lamb shoulder seasoned traditionally with salt, pepper, garlic and/or wine, stay within the traditional palate, choosing something light and mainstream. Capogiro offers seasonal selections like apple, grape, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon, among others.

If your meat meal trends a bit more exotic, say with Mexican or Indian spices, consider something reflective of that culinary style — coffee, mango, passion fruit, papaya, Campari orange or tequila lime.

If your main course is lighter, say grilled salmon, omelets or a vegetarian dish, you can ramp up the richness of dessert with an array of creamy gelato selections. Some of my favorites include coconut, burnt sugar, macadamia nut, dark chocolate and fig. Use the same guideline for gelato choices as described above to compliment the main course.

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