My First Gelato Experience Back in America

Ciao! For my first blog post, I decided to begin the search for something that I had been missing ever since I left Italy on December 30: gelato.

From our arrival in August to our departure in December and through the sun, rain, and snow, my friends and I never got tired of eating gelato, one of Italy’s most famous sweet treats.

While Perugia is a pretty small “city,” we never ran into a lack of gelato shops. Of course, we had our favorites, but all of them had quite exceptional gelato.

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Even before I left to study abroad in Perugia, I had heard great things about Dolcezza, a gelato shop with locations all over the Washington, D.C. area, including one in Bethesda, MD and one in Fairfax, VA.

I had never been to any of the Dolcezza locations before, but I had a sweet tooth for gelato and a blog post about Italian food to write, so I ventured to their DuPont location.

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When I first walked in, I noticed that every single seat was taken by someone working on a computer. I don’t blame them, the place definitely had a cool, hipster-y ambiance. Based on the people who were there, it seemed as though their coffee bar, which was situated at the front of the shop, was more popular than their gelato bar, which was situated at the back of the store.

They had a wide variety of nontraditional gelato flavors, including Thai Coconut Milk, Black Sesame, and Afghan Chai.

I ordered a cappuccino (and, in doing so, knowingly broke the cardinal rule of Italian coffee culture: ordering a cappuccino after noon – but I’ll save that for another blog post) and a small cup of salted caramel gelato.

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I thought both my cappuccino and gelato were delicious. The gelato was super smooth and creamy, without being too heavy. While I had never encountered any of Dolcezza’s flavors while in Italy, including salted caramel, it reminded me of the gelato that I ate way-too-much-of last semester in Perugia.

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It wasn’t until I got home and did a little more research on Dolcezza’s website that I had learned that the idea for the store was born in Buenos Aires.

While it definitely seemed as though most of their inspiration for their flavors came from South America and places outside of Italy, I thought they made awesome, authentic gelato.

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