Yesterday DCist alerted us to the opening of a new Pitango, a gelato outfit from Baltimore. Pitango’s new P Street branch opened yesterday, so I took an afternoon gelato break and moseyed on over.
There are several reason to be excited about this eco-friendly gelato purveyor. As DCist writes:
Dan explained that the most important aspect differentiating Pitango is the milk he uses. Deciding that most milk is overly processed, he embarked on a search that took him through southern Virginia to New Jersey to find the best possible milk. When he visited a Mennonite farmer in Pennsylvania, he knew that he had found the raw milk that he could turn into the best gelato. (Yes, he does pasteurize it.) So he built a dairy on Spring Wood Organic Farm in Lancaster County, which provides him with milk from organic, grass-fed cows and fresh eggs from free-range chickens.
Dan then combs local farms to find organic fruits for his sorbetti and gelati. He admits that despite his best efforts, the best pistachios and hazelnuts would have to come from Italy. He doesn’t use artificial colors, flavors, or stabilizers.
The gelati are contained in separate covered, liquid-cooled chambers, rather than the typical presentation in trays exposed to the air. This helps prevent mingling of flavors and scents. It is also more energy-efficient; an open freezer case tends to shed cold more quickly. And since gelato has a higher melting point, this reduces melting and the formation of ice crystals during refreezing.
All innovations I like. But how does it taste? Upon entering, I was greeted by the friendly staffers and given multiple tastes from their wide selection. They let you choose two or three flavors to have in one cup, so I picked their dark chocolate and almond gelati for a lovely and tasty combo:
The flavors were fantastic, definitely on par with gelati I’ve had in Italy. Smooth, creamy, yet light, with distinct flavor that never tasted artificial. The chocolate gelato had little bits of chocolate floating throughout, and a cocoa flavor that hung in my mouth long after I had finished. The almond was distinctly almondy, rather than amaretto liqueur-tasting as I had expected. They were an excellent pair.
My only quibble is the price. The pricetag of $4.85 for a small (two-flavor) and $6.50 for a large (three-flavor) ain’t exactly recession chic. But as a delicious (and green) treat on a hot summer day, Pitango is a welcome addition to the Logan Circle area.