Otto Gelato in the Park

I read about it at Gothamist Food: an Otto gelato cart on the northwest corner of Washington Square Park. See, according to the experts, Otto has the best gelato in New York. I’ve never eaten at Otto. I go to school next to Washington Square Park. Do you see what I’m getting at?

Tonight I went with my class to see “Guantanamo” (the 4th play in the most intense string of theater-going I’ve ever partaken in—“The Frogs” Wednesday Night, “Hedda” Thursday Night (which was awesome, by the way, check it out), a reading at New Dramatists today, and then “Guantanamo”—my ass is killing me). I made a little detour on the way to the theater to get some gelato. The Otto cart and the Otto cart man sat there like the ugly girl at the dance–no one seemed to take notice.

I, of course, took notice.

The sign out front said $4, which is pricey, but no pricier than a crappy Starbucks drink. My choices were chocolate, vanilla, rum raisin, and Concord grape. I went with the rum raisin and it was—

[I pause here to reflect on my word choices regarding food I’ve enjoyed since I’ve started this site. I’ve used “wonderful,” “amazing,” “earth-shattering,” “wildly good,” “excellent” and “superb.” But I haven’t used the word I’m about to use. Are you ready?]

It was DIVINE. Truly. Creamy, sultry, rich in flavor. But what is it?

Meaning: what’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? I go to the internet for help.

Food Network Canada provides the answer:

The Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream

Gelato is different from regular ice cream for two reasons:

1. First, there’s more “overrun” in North American style ice creams than in gelato. “Overrun” is the amount of air beaten into the ice cream during the freezing process. As a result, gelato tends to have a more intense, concentrated flavour.

2. The fat content of North American style ice creams is higher, ranging between 16-30%, whereas gelato only contains 3-10% fat. This is because North American style ice cream actually uses cream, whereas gelato is made with milk, water or soy milk (depending on the flavour).

I’ll only add that:

3. Gelato is divine, delicious and extraordinary. Go check it out and keep that lonely cart peddler company.

4 comments

  1. not only that, but gelato is often much easier on the stomach for those of us that are lactose intolerant!

  2. I went to this great place in Ericiera, Portugal called PrIMe (The Practical Ice Cream Method). It didn’t serve ice cream though, it served gelato, go figure. It was buffet style and you paid for your gelato & toppings by the gram! Amazing!!!

  3. Oh gelato! I love it so much more than ice cream. La Dolce Vita in Austin has a nutella flavor that is glorious and delicate. Perfect with the choclate sprinkle, where the sprinkles are tiny flakes of intense, high-quality bittersweet chocolate. I go way more often than I should.

    In Romania (of all places), there were gelato places that had samling dishes. You got a little walnut-sized scoop of all the flavors they had that day.

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