Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bacio: Chocolatey Stalwart

There are definitely some gelato flavors we rely on nearly as much as our Big Six daily staples, and our Bacio is definitely one of them. It should be obvious that we think chocolate gelato and hazelnuts harmonize pretty well with one another, given that we always have some variety of it--the Gianduia and Nutella are sort of the second and third starters to Bacio's ace status in the Capogiro pitching rotation--but the Bacio is really the one that people look for the most.

And well they should. The direct translation for bacio in English is "kiss," and though I'm not going to pretend to know anything at all about Italian etymology, I like to think that the looser translation is along the lines of "buss" or "peck," mostly because I'm oddly romantic about descriptors for frozen chocolate awesomeness. Thing is, they're a little misleading. An awful lot of us at Capogiro aren't altogether of the "quick peck on the cheek" crowd, and that pretty well shows up in the Bacio. The implication is that it's "kissed" with hazelnuts, but I don't really think that does that gelato justice. It's not at all one of those two-cheek-but-please-don't-smudge-my-makeup air kisses that I've always found it awkwardly fascinating to witness. It's more like the funny competition between two friends (in this powerfully streched metaphor, imagine that the two friends are the hazelnuts and chocolate) who haven't seen each other in too long to get to plant one on one another's cheeks.

My favorite thing about Bacio is that it's one of the pretty rare gelati we make that has just the slightest hint of chunks to it. Not a lot at all; the candied hazelnuts we stir in really bring more of a bit of crispiness to it without getting in the way of the silkiness of the gelato itself. And of COURSE the Bacio pairs well with so many of our other flavors. Truth be told, we're all sort of in that yearly holding pattern wherein we're waiting for the strawberries to arrive. It's sort of distracting. But if you're going to have high standards like we do, you're also going to need to have some patience. So my favorite way to have bacio? Definitely on its own in a frappe. MAYBE a shot of espresso, but that's pretty well gilding the lily.

So the next time your barista tells you that the Bacio is on fire on that particular day, believe them. And have some. Obviously our gelato is always awesome, but sometimes the stars align and it becomes epically transcendent. And that's when you get yourself a frappe and sit outside in the sunshine.

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