Okay, I think ANY weather calls for gelato. Milk chocolate and creole cream cheese proved to be an inspired pairing this weekend at La Divina on Magazine Street, and the mojito sorbetto absolutely sang with the grassy, lush taste of fresh mint. Mint flavors at La Divina never disappoint.
In other gelato news: (it thrills me that New Orleans even HAS “gelato news” to report.) Located just up the block on Magazine from La Divina, sparkly patisserie Sucre recently reformulated its gelato. Gone is the chalky, pre-fabricated gelato base made with industrial milk. The new version uses Smith’s Creamery milk and brown cane sugar from Louisiana. Plans to put this gelato on the shelves of local markets are in the works. Now if the lovely people at Sucre would just ditch the artificial colors in the frozen sweets, I’d be happy. Oh, and could you please tone down the sugar in the praline flavor (how about a touch of salted caramel in it? or salted pecans?) [NOTE: those lovely people at Sucre have just informed me that most of the flavors are indeed all-natural with no added coloring, with the exception of a few (including mint chocolate chip).]
Over on Oak Street, Gelato Pazzo endured the (seemingly neverending) street renovation project. The first few blocks of Oak now offer park benches, trees, improved sidewalks, and a little less off-street parking. It’s definitely an aesthetic improvement, but how does reduced parking benefit the businesses of this historic shopping district? I hope that the Main Street project on Oak plans to address the issue: why can’t Oak incorporate a couple of small-scale public parking lots? On the other hand, outdoor cafe seating is quite nice, but will it attract people who find nowhere to park?