Dolcezza in the wintertime. What do we do over here when it gets cold out and we have fewer folks braving the cold to come partake in frigid sin? Well, it gives us more time to huddle around our kitchen and dream up new concoctions and creations. We have recently developed a crush on the tongue numbing sichuan peppercorns. They are citrusy, gingery, black peppery and leave the tongue ever slightly so numb. All this without being too hot, so we don’t have to worry so much about it overtaking other more subtle flavors. We have come up with a couple of superb gelati using this rare fascinating ingredient. The first is CHOCOLATE SICHUAN PEPPER: a combination of chocolate gelato, espresso, fresh ground sumatra cinnamon and a bit of the fresh ground sichuan pepper. The result is a complex unfolding of a rich spicy chocolate with a warm exotic finish that tastes of black pepper, lemon & ginger. We have also created GINGER SICHUAN PEPPER: we grind ginger root, mix it with a little fresh ground sichuan pepper, a tiny hint of fresh ground cinnamon and infuse this into our cream base. The ginger is complimented in the background with the sichuan pepper and subtle sweet & spicy notes of cinnamon. Not neglecting the fruits, we have also been wallowing in Meyer Lemons, Pomegranates, Clementines, Seville Oranges, Honey Tangerines and Blood Oranges. Although we love dearly the local summer fruit season here at Dolcezza, some of our favorite flavors come out of the kitchen during the wintertime, full of the bright acidic citrus fruits.
Coming up in a couple of weeks is the PASA conference, which is held in State College, PA. It is the largest conference on sustainability and local farming on the east coast, bringing together over 1,900 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists, and business and community leaders. The conference does not focus entirely on practical training for farmers. The 2004 event featured addresses by well-known environmentalist Paul Hawken; human rights advocate Anuradha Mittal; and Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian canola farmer who was sued by Monsanto Corporation for patent infringement after his crops were cross-pollinated with genetically modified canola. These speakers helped underscore the conference’s role as a forum for alternative voices in agriculture. Keynote speakers in recent years have been such visionaries as William McDonough, Vandana Shiva, Jim Hightower, Winona LaDuke, Mark Ritchie and John Ikerd. Violeta & i will be participating in the Advanced Cheesemaking Track where we will talk about using local farm fresh ingredients in the production of our gelato. We will talk about everything from the advantages to the difficulties and the expenses associated with using local ingredients. We will also talk about start-up costs and equipment associated with making artisanal gelato. A lot of folks don’t understand the costs that go into the making of our gelato in Georgetown. One example of this, is that every 10 days we drive our refrigerated van up to York, Pa. to pick up our cream, whole milk, skim milk and butter from the brothers at Perrydell Dairy Farm. The round trip takes us about 5 hours. If I told you that they milked the cows and bottled the milk the same day we drive up to get our dairy, you probably wouldn’t believe me, so i won’t even bother telling you…alright, yes i will.
So, if you folks have some extra time on your hands, come up and join us at this amazing conference, sure to be filled with loads of hippies, farmers and good food.