Affogato comes from Italy and in it’s home country, it is considered a dessert. The word affogato means "drowned," referring to ice cream drowning in hot coffee. It is made by combining vanilla ice cream with hot espresso coffee.
Its preparation is very simple. First, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is placed in a glass or small cup, then the freshly prepared espresso is added. This is the classic version; however, it can also be prepared with other ice cream flavors such as chocolate or almond. There are even places where they add other ingredients like cocoa powder, cinnamon, and sometimes even liqueurs like amaretto.
There is an urban legend that says that the Franciscan friar Angelico created the famous Italian drink in the 17th century. The friar lived in the province of Cuneo in the Italian Piedmont region and was dedicated to the preparation of liqueurs, especially hazelnut liqueur. It is said that one day it occurred to him to mix vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee and thus the affogato was born.
In some regions of Italy, affogato is also served with a scoop of ice cream topped with a drink such as rum or coffee liqueur. And for those who don't like coffee, some versions are served with chocolate or tea.
Affogato has become popular in many countries and, perhaps, you will not find it as a drink, but as an after-meal dessert. In countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, or Australia you can enjoy it in Italian restaurants and cafes. In Spain it is known as “carajillo de helado”.
In 1992, George Howell invented the Frappuccino in the United States and it bears some similarities to Affogato. Frappuccino is made with espresso or instant coffee with milk, ice, and syrup. It is then mixed until a foamy consistency is obtained. Instead, the affogato blends the hot espresso over the scoop of ice cream. The affogato includes vanilla ice cream or other ingredients already mentioned, but frappuccinos offer more complex combinations and more flavor options.
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