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I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream. There is no season for this tasty treat, and Shira will bring you to the ends of the earth, or at least your nearest dairy, for this frozen delight. Whether homemade or not, the ride will be worth the extra calories. This monthly column has become one of the highlights of every issue - we hope you enjoy it too.


32 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 • 802-223-CHILL

ChillUpCloseThe history of gelato is long and somewhat varied, depending on whose story you believe. Some have the icy delight dating back to the ancient Roman empire who used shaved ice and flavorings to make their summer lives more enjoyable (but only the Emperors – all others suffered the heat), some have Marco Polo bringing the Chinese recipes, using milk instead of ice, back to his homeland. The most prevalent idea is that 15th century Italians began enjoying gelato on a more frequent basis after Florentine architect Bernardo Buontalenti created advanced refrigeration techniques, thus allowing the Italian masses to enjoy the milk-based creations after its popularity was solidified at the wedding of Catherine de’ Medici and King Henry II of France.ChillBeetifulSweetPotato Another major advancement was the perfection of the first ice cream making machine in 1686 by fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, making the availability even easier for the common man and woman. After this, the secret was out and Italian gelato spread to the four corners of the world. By the 1920 it was being sold by street vendors.

Ice cream and gelato start with the same basic ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and (typically) egg yolks. Both are formed from a custard base, but ice cream is churned at a fairly high speed to incorporate air and increase its volume (the cheaper the ice cream, the more air is whipped in). Gelato’s custard base has a higher proportion of milk to cream and probably no eggs at all. It’s churned slowly to give it a denser and less airy consistency. Ice cream is served very chilled to be scoopable, while gelato is served slightly warmer so its texture stays silkier and softer. Because of its lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the main flavors take a step up from ice cream and it’s also just a little lower in calories.

I was pointed to Chill in Montpelier, Vermont from many sites touting it as the best gelato, or ice cream in general, in Vermont. We happened to be passing this way after Americade on our way north, so I had Brian vector off our route a bit to make a stop. We got there a little before they opened, but luckily the Farmer’s Market was in full swing and Montpelier, Vermont’s capitol, is a funky, hopping town. We found a parking spot right outside and headed across the street to grab a cup of Joe and people-watch for a while. We spent the rest of the wait time in Woodbury Mountain Toys, a shop to revive your childhood memories and bring out your inner child. After filling a shopping bag (note to self: always leave room in the saddlebags for times like this), I

stored the purchase and, while locking up the bike I heard my name being called. Up walked John Conte from Whitehorse Gear. After the shop closed, he and family moved to Montpelier and it was nice to catch up briefly.ChillOutside

By now, I was pretty much past due for some frozen treats so when the young lady opened the door precisely at noon, we entered with smiles on our faces and longing in our eyes. The cases were filled with such colorful enticements it was very difficult to select one, or two for that matter. Luckily there are tasting spoons and I sampled some of the more unusual flavors before settling. Here are a few and flavors rotate regularly: Rose, Mayan Hot Chocolate, Fig & Goat Cheese, Lemon Poppyseed, Lavender, Beetiful and Finocchio (fennel). Of course there are more familiar flavors like Stracciatella, Tiramisu, Nocciola, Ginger, Sweet Milk and Marzipan as well as Chocolate, Vanilla and, of course, Maple. I opted for a double scoop of Rose and Finocchio, both of which were super silky, subtle yet flavorful and very delicious.

Nora and Theo Kennedy, the proprietors of Chill, opened their doors in 2012 and have been making people happy with their creations since. As you can see from the photo, there are a couple of seats outside, but if you stop in during fine summer weather take your gelato to go and wander the town – just make sure you have some room in your saddlebags.

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