Vendredi Vocab: Affogato

Meet my (newly discovered) favorite dessert – the affogato!

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affogato [ahf-foh-GAH-toh] A scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Though vanilla is traditional, chocolate gelato is sometimes used, in which case the dessert becomes affogato mocha. The word affogato comes from the Italian affogare (“drown”).

The New Food Lover’s Companion, page 7

I had a lovely table the other afternoon at the girl & the fig (where I waitress when I’m not blogging) – two gentlemen who enjoyed a long lunch with spaced out light bites, a few drinks, and plenty of laughs. A business meeting, they told me, although it seemed to me that the were more friends who happened to do business together and wanted an excuse to get lunch. They were the kind of guests who asked me to pick their food, surprise them and ‘just bring us a few of your favorites’ – so much fun for us servers!

At the end of the meal I handed them dessert menus in the usual fashion and they asked if we had “affocado.” It was my turn to learn…I must have looked confused (secretly wondering if they just asked for “avocados” for dessert, so they quickly explained that they were interested in the Italian affogato, meaning espresso with vanilla bean ice cream. I instantly loved the idea without even having to try it. What a delectable mix of hot and cold, creamy and bitter, a touch of sweet and the perfect amount of perk-you-up after a long meal. If you’re like me, sometimes after a meal, you aren’t in the mood for a full-on dessert. Well, affogato is your new best friend. To top it off, at the girl & the fig we make our own ice creams in-house and our vanilla bean is to die for!

So after explaining to me what affogato meant and that they would like to have it with a side shot of Cointreau to mix in (and you thought it couldn’t get any better!), I brought the gentlemen their after-lunch treat.


Cointreau not pictured

And true to form, they mixed it all together and insisted I try it. It was, of course, heavenly. And I’m still day-dreaming about it.


Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!


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