West Side Rag” I scream, you scream, we all scream for — Gelato!

Posted on May 28, 2022 at 12:29 a.m. by West Side Rag

Gelato in Amarino al Naturale. Two photographs by Mia Dahlgren.

By Meg A. Parson

I have a confession to make. I started a summer romance. The object of my affection is sweet, rich and geographically desirable. I am a happily married woman but I couldn’t resist. My heart belongs to Chocolate Whiskey Brownie gelato at Screme Gelato Bar on Amsterdam Avenue and West 94th Street.

I’ve usually been more of an ice cream lover – or so I thought – but my first taste of this intense chocolate ice cream with little bits of brownie and a light hit of whiskey was a revelation. It has a silkier texture than traditional American ice cream with an intense and complex flavor that made me wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato?

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but there are major differences in how these frozen treats are made. While gelato and ice cream contain cream, milk, and sugar, gelato has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream. Unlike ice cream, gelato generally does not include egg yolks. Because the ice is churned more slowly, it incorporates less air and results in a denser product. American ice cream is served at a cooler temperature, which allows the balls to hold their shape. Since the ice cream is served at a slightly warmer temperature, its texture remains softer, which is why it is served using a paddle to form a spoon shape.

Behind the counter Amarino Gelato al Naturale on Amsterdam Avenue between 79th and 80th Streets, servers artfully shape blooming ice cream into their signature cones, either chocolate-covered or plain. Wearing one of their macaroons, these creations are a real treat for the eyes. Along with classic gelato flavors like Dulce de Leche, Chocolate Hazelnut, and Stracciatella, they offer blueberry cheesecake, Sri Lankan coconut, and mascarpone and fig, among others. They also have a great selection of vegan sorbet flavors. My favorite, and the perfect complement to their rich chocolate ice cream, is the refreshing lime and basil sorbet. Since its inception, Amarino, which has locations around the world, has developed over 20 certified organic gelato flavors.

Cream Gelato Bar. Photograph by Meg A. Parsont.

Cream gelato bar is an outpost of Israel’s largest ice cream company. With a selection of 200 rotating flavors, the choices are mind blowing, in the best possible way! There’s something for everyone, from classics to the purest Madagascar vanilla to creative concoctions like a maraschino cherry panna cotta and of course, my beloved chocolate whiskey brownie. Screme also serves traditional and more original sorbet flavors, including a deep black cherry. Its products are made with all natural ingredients, without oil, eggs, preservatives or food colorings, and are Kosher certified.

Years ago when I traveled to Italy, no day was complete without at least one ice cream. On the Upper West Side, Screme and Amarino’s ice cream is a mini vacation in a cup or cone. Good summer!

Here is the beginning of a list. Add your favorite UWS ice spot in the comments.

Cream gelato bar
176 W. 94th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Closed for Shabbat Friday evening and Saturday
Available for parties and events on site

Amarino Gelato al Naturale
414 Amsterdam Avenue between 79-80th Streets
Open Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 11:30 p.m.
Delivery available

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