Continuing with our coverage of this season’s tasty ice cream treats, we come to the ice cream sandwich. A quality sweet sammy will lovingly shove scoops of ice cream between cookies (à la the maple-apple extravaganza from Coolhaus), but sometimes you can actually find frozen bliss stuffed inside bread. Behold the focaccina from just-opened gelateria Amorino (60 University Place, 212-253-5599).
The bread used is a soft and eggy brioche roll, with a sweetness you could liken to that of a panettone. Yet the genius of the focaccina is that once the ice cream is inserted inside the hollow pocket, it’s placed in a machine and sealed so that the edges close and the gelato is completely encased. It’s similar to a jelly donut, only the filling is pretty much solid.
The Greenwich Village shop sells several flavors of gelato (see next page), but we opted for a combo of salted caramel and coffee inside the focaccina. At $7.50, it’s on the expensive side of frozen treats, but really no more than you’d pay at a restaurant for dessert.
We were slightly disappointed with the salted-caramel flavor, which was hardly salty or caramel-y, but the coffee flavor was full-bodied and downright delicious. What also makes this treat great is that, unlike with other ice cream sandwiches, here the gelato never touches your fingers, helping you happily avoid that icky stickiness that comes with gelato-eating sans spoons. Yet if that’s what you crave, you can always opt for one of the shop’s multi-scoop cones, which combine several flavors of gelato to resemble flower petals. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.
And for a glimpse of all of Amorino’s flavors …