Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Desperately Seeking Spumoni

dining_spumoniWhere I grew up, pistachios were red and arrived in Christmas gift baskets. My sisters and I would finish off the bag with split thumbnails and pink fingers to show for it.

Later, I found pistachio ice cream in France as ubiquitous as chocolate. Although I wondered silently why it was green and found its flavor odd, surprisingly enough it was familiar, reminding me of spumoni.

As a child, the occasional trip to San Francisco with my grandparents typically included an Italian dinner, most often in the Doll Room at Veneto's. The meals would invariably begin with a Shirley Temple and end with spumoni. It's not that I ever craved this frozen finale, but it was part of our ritual and a rare opportunity for dessert was not to be dismissed. Swirls of chocolate, pink and alien green ice creams contained nameless bits of things found in holiday fruitcakes, but it was cold and very sweet.

From the word "foam" in Italian, traditional spumoni layers mousse mixed with nuts, fruit and sometimes rum with flavored ice creams. Unmolded, it is sliced to reveal multi-colored striations.

While still available in many Italian-American neighborhoods, it is a seasonal specialty elsewhere. Dreyer's spumoni is available locally, but it contains about 40 ingredients including partially hydrogenated soybean oil and artificial this and that.

I visited four markets before encountering a pint of Villa Dolce Spumoni Gelato ($4.99) at Whole Foods. This Los Angeles-based company uses just 12 ingredients, including dark European cocoa powder, sour Amarena cherry paste, and Sicilian pistachios.

The texture is light and icy, the chocolate flavor fudgy. The pink swirl exudes bright cherry essence; the green one pieces of pistachio and roasted almonds. The end is near for that carton in my freezer.


Villa Dolce Gelato, at Whole Foods, 911 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Visit villadolcegelato.com

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by author, February 16, 2011
Boomer,
Thanks for the inside scoop on local Spumoni. Marianne's used to make it seasonally, but they didn't have it this year. Boo hoo.

Karen
Polar Bear Spumoni
written by Boomer, December 17, 2010
Locally, Polar Bear Ice Cream makes a very nice spumoni. I don't see it in stores that carry Polar Bear ice cream, but if you go out to eat at Lillian's Kitchen and order spumoni, you're eating Polar Bear's.

It's very good; and if your market doesn't stock it, go out to Polar Bear's store by Harvey West. They have the spumoni.
[
LOCAL SPUMONI! Do not favor the alien Los Angeles product, eck.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Critical Mask

Comics remain both relevant and marginalized  

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Ella’s at the Airport

Tiffany Ella King on her new fine dining restaurant in Watsonville

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines