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The history of Café Affogato and how to prepare it

In this hot summer that ended a few weeks ago, cold coffee-based beverages have certainly played their part in relieving the heat. From Dalgona coffee to Cold Brew, or even Espresso tonic to Coffee Lemonade. Well, today we will discover in this post how one of the most delicious cold coffees is born and how to prepare it, the very Italian Caffè Affogato.

The preparation of this coffee is very simple, it is enough to prepare a double espresso and add a scoop of ice cream of a flavor of your choice between Fiordilatte and Crema, although other combinations of flavors are allowed, but let's say that the "original recipe" is with the flavors mentioned above.

As soon as you add the ice cream, the Affogato is ready to be tasted. Now, there are people who wonder whether or not to stir with the spoon ... In this there is no correct way to do it. We do prefer to do it to better mix the coffee with the ice cream, but I repeat, this is to everyone's taste.

Let's take a look at the history of ice cream

The origin of ice cream is quite uncertain, but according to some versions, it seems that about 6,000 thousand years ago, the Chinese who already used ice to preserve food, mixed the snow from the mountains with honey and fruits. From China it passed to ancient Egypt, where it was served at the banquets celebrated by the pharaoh in silver goblets. It was a kind of ice-cold fruit juice slush.

On the other hand, it is known that the Caliphs of Baghdad also mixed snow with fruit juices, giving rise to what they called "Sharbets" and it was Marco Polo who introduced them to Europe in the 13th century after one of his trips.

At that time their preparation was very complicated since they melted easily as they did not have refrigerators or cold rooms, so only the nobility could enjoy ice cream. They paid bearers to go up into the mountains to collect snow and stored it at home in deep wells that they covered with straw.

But ice creams with milk, similar to the ones we know, did not become known until much later, when a French cook serving at the English court mixed juices with milk in the 16th century. This "invention" had such an impact that King Charles I gave a reward to the cook so that it could only be eaten at the royal table.

Although the beginnings are millenary, ice cream began to be successful in the seventeenth century, specifically in the year 1660, when a Florentine named Francesco Procopio invented a machine that homogenized fruits, sugar and ice, thus obtaining a real ice cream, similar to the one we know today. Procopio, opened the "Café Procope" in Paris, where, in addition to coffee, ice creams were served and this is how this product became popular. The invention reached Italy very quickly and became so popular that in 1770 the first ice cream machine was exported to New York. George Washington himself is said to have been such a fan that he featured her at one of his celebrations.

Ice Cream Meets Coffee

At the end of the seventeenth century, coffee was one of the main aromas for ice creams along with chocolate that combined with the basic ingredients: milk, eggs and sugar, making this dessert one of the most popular.

The emergence of affogato coffee, on the other hand, seems much more recent. While there is no set date, it appears to have spread in Italy in the 1950s when ice cream production became industrialized and modernized. Recall that until World War II, ice cream was still made from snow stored for winter in deep underground caves.

Back to the history of affogato, there is a version that attributes its creation to the famous Franciscan friar Angelico, who lived in the province of Cuneo in the Italian Piedmont region, during the 17th century and who was dedicated to the preparation of liqueurs. Especially the hazelnut liqueur that today we know as frangelico and coffee liqueur. Those who insist on this version say that one day it occurred to him to mix vanilla ice cream with a jet of espresso coffee. The first version suits us more, due to a question of chronology, but it is something that in our opinion is unimportant, since the really relevant thing is to enjoy a good affogato.

Ice cream parlors became more and more common in Italy, almost like bars, and became an icon of the "Bel Paese", and it was in these years, mainly during the summer, when ice creams began to "drown" in cafes. espresso. From Italy she went to the United States and mainly became very famous in New York.

Although the dessert has never lost its popularity in Europe and Italy in particular, it has lost a bit of interest in the United States, especially as a result of the appearance of the Frappuccino in 1992, the invention of George Howell. The frappuccino was conceived as a combination of soft ice cream and coffee, to pay homage to affogato, but making it more like a milkshake.

Let's remember that Howell was one of the pioneers of the Specialty Coffee movement in the United States during the 70s and 80s and that today he has three coffee shops in Massachusetts.

When Starbucks bought the Howell's Coffee chain in 1994, it included its roaster, its brand, and its recipes, including the Frappuccino and they distributed that drink all over North America and in doing so it took the affogato out of the spotlight.

Different variants or interpretations of affogato have emerged, such as that of chef Jamie Oliver, who suggests using scoops of vanilla ice cream with crunchy toasted almonds, amaretti or biscotti, soaked in roasted coffee.

We know the great attraction that frappuccino has in young people, a drink that in our opinion is usually too sweet, abundant and caloric, but for us, an affogato coffee, prepared with a good quality espresso and a homemade ice cream, is unmatched !

We leave you the following video developed by Cuk-It! in which we are shown how simple it is to prepare our long-awaited Affogato Coffee, although they add a little coffee liqueur to the original recipe. And it is that whatever is based on coffee never hurts!


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