An affogato or more traditionally known as “affogato al caffe” (Italian for “drowned”) is an Italian coffee-based dessert. It usually takes the form of a scoop of fior di latte or vanilla gelato or ice cream topped or “drowned” with a shot of hot espresso. Some variations also include a shot of amaretto, Bicerin, Kahlua, or other liqueur (Frangelico).
Though restaurants and cafes in Italy categorize the affogato as a dessert, some restaurants and cafes outside of Italy categorize it as a beverage. Whether a dessert or beverage, restaurants and cafes usually serve the affogato in a tall narrowing glass, allowing the fior di latte, vanilla gelato, or ice cream to melt and combine with espresso into the hollowed space in the bottom of the glass. Occasionally, coconut, berries, honeycomb and multiple flavors of ice cream are added. A biscotto or cookie can also be served and enjoyed alongside this beverage. Affogatos are often enjoyed as a post-meal coffee dessert combo eaten and or drunk with a spoon or straw.
In Italy, it is known as “gelato al fior di latte” with the translation to English “flower of milk”. Typically the ingredients in the ice cream includes dairy, starch, and sugar. It is popular in countries where they dress it with chocolate syrup, cantuccini, or biscotti to provide extra flavors.
I am pretty certain there was no Frangelico in my Affogato this afternoon at Katarina’s Coffee Shop in Prescott along the glistening St. Lawrence River. But the taste was nonetheless divine! Oh, what a treat! I recall the first time I had an espresso coffee at a hotel in Sanremo on the Italian Riviera. The nearby cubes of white sugar made it into the syrupy coffee. I was hooked! But the Affogato is even better!
Katarina’s Coffee Shop (which for those who wish to know is directly south on Hwy 416 then right into Prescott) is a terrific place for a brief but strengthening outing – especially if the return jaunt is through the surrounding bucolic countryside. I understand the owner of the café is named Nicole Hudson (an ancient family name in this area). As we haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet Ms. Hudson, I am merely guessing at the possible association recalling as I do that there are only six families in Ottawa and that the rest is done with mirrors!
Panmure Farms is owned and operated by the 6th generation Hudsons, descendents of William Hudson who emigrated from Leeds County, England to Canada in 1832. He purchased the original 50 acres where the farmhouse stands today. Bruce and Brian Hudson currently run the farrow to finish swine and cash crop operation. When the boys, Bruce and Brian, were growing up, their parents, Graham and Kay, provided them with the opportunity to ”make a little pocket money” selling sweet corn at the end of the lane. This part of the business has since evolved into Hudson’s Farm Fresh produce which now supplies sweet corn and other fresh produce to the Ottawa Valley and the west end of the City of Ottawa.
Katarina’s Coffee Shop long ago joined our collection of favourite spots to visit. The ownership has changed since our initial acquaintance but otherwise it appears to be nothing but further improvement. The sandwiches and pastries are mouth-watering. And there are many other goodies at hand for additional temptation.