Lots of ice cream in Champaign-Urbana: Food & Drink: Smile politely

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Gelato: the sweet and creamy dessert. It’s known for its rich flavor and density – and it’s a staple of Italian desserts. Did you know that the ice cream started in a cafe in Paris? Italian chef Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli introduced ice cream to his cafe menu in the late 1600s. He improved sorbets by replacing honey with sugar and adding a little salt to melt the ice more slowly – and created ice.

The gelato was so good that the Sicilian chef was granted French nationality and the exclusive royal license from King Louis XIV to be the only frozen dessert producer in the kingdom at that time.

In our kingdom, the Champaign-Urbana area, we have more than one ice cream shop in town. I took it upon myself to try five different glaciers. In this list, I share each ice cream shop’s menu, prices, and what I’ve tried.





Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Prairies Fruits Farm and Creamery

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery has been making goat’s milk ice cream in-house since 2011. Ten years ago, the owners traveled to Bologna, Italy, to take an ice cream-making course with Carpigiani, the company that makes ice machines, so they can learn how to make ice cream from scratch with goat’s milk from the farm. In their ice cream, PFF also uses pure hazelnut and pistachio pastes from Italy, chocolate from Ethereal Chocolates in Woodstock, Illinois, real vanilla from Madagascar, and local fruits, nuts and herbs.

When I visited the farm store, there were four flavors available: Lavender Honey, Mint, Pistachio, and Hazelnut. The staff asked me if I wanted to taste a teaspoon of each. I thought lavender had a nice floral flavor and mint had a very strong fresh mint taste. I loved both hazelnut options, so I ordered a premium pistachio scoop for $ 5 and a hazelnut scoop for $ 4. The pistachio was so good. It was a pale green color and had a wonderful nutty. The hazelnut spoon had a warm nutty flavor which was fantastic and sweet. Both were rich, developed flavors into a creamy ice cream that melted well – and messy, so grab some extra napkins. The ice cream here was served with a wooden spoon and best enjoyed with the view of the goats and the peaceful prairie landscape, but you can also choose up to a pint of gelato at the farm store or at the farmers market on Saturdays. .

Prairies Fruits Farm and Creamery
4410 N Avenue Lincoln
Champagne
F 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
its 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Art market

Back near the desserts and chocolates inside Art Mart, you can find ice cream. Art Mart started offering ice cream about ten years ago; they spent time sampling ice cream in dozens of locations and decided to source the ice cream for the store from Palazzolos in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

When I visited, five flavors were available: tiramisu Kahlua, French silk tart, red velvet cake, espresso stracciatella, and salted caramel. Each gelato included two scoops ($ 4.50), and I tried four of Art Mart’s flavors: Kahlua tiramisu and stracciatella espresso in one cup and salted caramel with French silk pie gelato in the other cup. The Art Mart gelato came in a plastic cup with a lime green flat rimmed scoop to scoop up.

The salted caramel had strings of caramel syrup throughout the creamy ice cream and the rich caramel flavor was solid. The longer I let this ice cream sit, the creamier it becomes. The French silk tart had a delicious chocolate flavor with a pie crust and chocolate brownie bites. Almost every bite of the silk pie gelato contained one of these delicious mixes, and I loved it.

The tiramisu had a great, sweet coffee flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. The tiramisu gelato had a grainy texture from ice crumbs or cookies (or both). There were thick and sweet caramel ribbons which tasted so delicious. In the espresso scoop, the great taste of the coffee was wonderfully developed and there were chunks of sweet chocolate everywhere. The chocolate pieces ranged from small chips to long rectangles of cold chocolate. This ice cream was creamy and sweet, and if you like the taste of strong coffee, this ice cream is for you.

Art market
1705 S Prospect Ave
Champagne
T-Sat 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Su 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Pizzeria Antica

The pizzeria in downtown Champaign sells ice cream in many flavors in addition to Neapolitan pizza. When I visited on Friday, the flavors available were Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Raspberry Sorbet, and Lemon Sorbet. I tried two ice creams at $ 4 each: a cup of dark chocolate ice cream and a cup of salted caramel ice cream. They were served like big scoops in cute green plastic cups by a friendly staff member who was super excited to have some ice cream.

The dark chocolate was decadent chocolaty without being too sweet. There were soft bits of brownie in the ice cream. With a very rich cocoa flavor, this is a chocolate addict’s chocolate ice cream. The salty caramel ice cream was the most amazing flavor: so much caramel and sweet. It was the epitome of caramel flavor. The creamy and milky taste of dulce de leche with a super smooth gelato texture made this flavor one of my favorites. The deep caramel flavor was just wonderful.

Pizzeria Antica
10 Chester Street East
Champagne
M-Th 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
F + Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Two cups of red gelato sit on a black table at Baldarotta's in the Lincoln Square shopping center in Urbana.  Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Porketta and Sicilian Sausage from Baldarotta

In March of this year, Baldarotta’s expanded its restaurant to include a Gelateria which offers Italian cookies, drinks and, of course, ice cream. You can get ice cream in a medium mug ($ 4.75), tall mug ($ 5.99), pint ($ 16), or pint ($ 29). Baldarotta’s sources its ice cream from Villa Dolce Gelato, an ice cream company founded by three brothers in Rome, Italy. Once the owners tasted it, they knew it was the brand they were going to wear in the Gelateria.

The flavors during my visit were Belgian dark chocolate, blood orange sorbet, Italian espresso, lemon pie, mint chocolate chips, cookies and cream, lemon sorbet, chocolate crunch with hazelnuts and pistachio. I ordered two large mugs: one with lemon pie and cream cookies, and the other with espresso and chocolate. Baldarotta’s is the only place in town with ice cream toppings, and each topping costs 25 cents. I threw in a few wedges for toppings: pistachios and cherries on one cup of gelato and caramel sauce on the other.

The espresso ice cream had a very creamy espresso flavor without any coffee bitterness, and the chocolate ice cream had a rich cocoa flavor, and the texture of the ice cream was so creamy and so good. There were even pieces of chocolate in it.

The lemon pie ice cream had delicious pieces of Genovesi cookies and the flavor was subtle of lemon and nicely balanced sweetness. The cookies and cream were thick, creamy ice cream, and this flavor was my favorite because the cookie pieces were big. No small cookie dust mixer; no, i was getting big pieces of cookies here. The toppings were a fun addition, and I especially liked the cherries on top.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

You can also get an adult gelato sorbet drink (and I did) at Baldarotta for $ 6.50. Sicilian dreamicle is usually made with vanilla sorbet, but the staff asked me if I wanted to try it with blood orange sorbet, and I did. It’s such a fun drink, and as I was drinking it the orange sorbet melted into the drink. The blood orange flavor in the sherbet was vibrant and fresh, and the cocktail was bubbly and washed down – worth a try.

Porketta and Sicilian Sausage from Baldarotta
300 S avenue Broadway
Urban
T-Sat 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sun noon to 3 p.m.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The Pain Company

The newest of the ice cream game, The Bread Company started serving ice cream last month. The flavors available when I tried were cappuccino, mint chocolate chips, chocolate, spicy honey, strawberries and cream, pistachio, vanilla, raspberry sorbet and mango sorbet . I tried two scoops of strawberries and cream ($ 4.50) and a scoop of cappuccino, spicy honey and chocolate ($ 5.50). The ice cream was served in a paper cup with a paddle steamer. I like the idea of ​​going up to a window and buying ice cream; it was just cool.

The strawberries and ice cream I tried were really really good. I loved the sweet flavor of the strawberries and the smoothness of this ice cream. The classic pairing was fantastic, and if you like strawberries you have to try it. The chocolate was a good creamy ice cream with a slight chocolate flavor. The cappuccino had a great coffee taste with little coffee chocolate chips which gave the dessert a nice texture.

Spicy honey ice cream is something that must be tried by everyone. This flavor was exceptional. I had never eaten honey ice cream before – and it’s something I’ve missed all my life. The honey crystals in the creamy ice cream gave the smallest crunch that melted in the ice cream. The flavor of this one was particularly excellent: a little honey and a little salt. I liked it.

The Pain Company
706 Goodwin Avenue
Urban
M 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
TF from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
its 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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