Next post: Shopping and cooking in Bologna.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Mangia Milan: Gelato at Bianco Latte
Crossing multiple time zones can really mess with a person's system. While I typically have no problems with my sleep patterns, I do tend to lose my appetite for a few days after arrival. And when one is traveling in Italy, that's a real shame. But one Italian treat goes down very easy - whether you have just stuffed yourself with bread and cheese or have gone 24 hours without a proper meal. Gelato! My first free afternoon in Milan, I took a long walk from Piazza della Republica to the Duomo square and back. I passed many gelato shops, including Grom (which has two outposts here in NYC), but one shop in particular caught my eye: Bianco Latte. Perhaps it was the large, bright windows (an anomaly on the stretch of Via Turati I was walking down). Perhaps it was the crowd gathered in the front of the shop. But I think it was really the rainbow of gelato colors that drew me in to Bianco Latte (which translates to "white milk" in English). The first night, I was modest and ordered a small cone of yogurt and strawberry to eat while strolling back to my hotel. The yogurt flavor was very reminicent of my favor frozen yogurt in New York (Frogurt brand sold at Bloomingdales' 40 Carrots) and the strawberry tasted like fresh fruit. Suddenly, my appetite was back, but it seemed gluttonous to walk back for more. Day two was a large cup of yogurt, raspberry and a deep, rich raspberry-chocolate flavor. The gelato was so rich and the portion so generous, in fact, that I shamefully could not finish the whole thing. Sadly, I went to Bologna on day three, and did not make it back to Milan in time to visit Bianco Latte before they closed for the evening. But I made up for it the next day. First, with a refreshing medium cup with yogurt, grapefruit (icy and tart) and pineapple (So amazing that, as I was eating it while walking, I actually had to stop in my tracks to savor the flavor. It was that good). As it was my last day, and I was leaving for the airport before the shop would open the next morning, I threw caution to the wind and had one last small cone later that day before returning to my hotel. I went with the pistachio, which was salty and sweet at the same time. Mixed with roasted nuts, the pistachio was by far my favorite flavor. But it was also bittersweet, as it was my last taste of Bianco Latte! Bianco Latte also has a very nice counter for coffee and light snacks, including seats up front, as well as a sit-down cafe, and a takeaway area with salads (perfect for a light hotel room picnic). Despite all of the gelato (not to mention bread and cheese) I consumed over four days, I returned home down 2 lbs. Call it the jet lag diet! I just need to return to Milan and Bianco Latte soon to test it once more.