Dairy and I have had a long and tumultuous relationship. As my mother tells it, I was a tubby toddler who used to steal premade bottles out of the refrigerator and pull grab-and-guzzles on my younger and weaker brother. She said we, and meant mostly me, would go through almost a full gallon a day.
Sometime in middle school, somebody said to me, perhaps as a joke, that milk was cow pus. This long-forgotten person also added that it was totally unnatural for human beings to suck down another mammal’s bodily juices. An indiscriminate eater for most of my childhood and early adolescence, this was the turning point.
I switched to soy, claiming lactose intolerance in front of my bewildered mother who had just bought two gallons of 2% the day before. Per my request. For a short while, I missed the creamy familiarity of milk. I even tried to down a glass, but what had once been a thin, easy-to-drink beverage clotted and thickened in my mouth as my throat just refused to swallow. I was never able to erase the image of cracked and infected udders oozing what dairy farmers only ASSUMED was milk, out of my head. If I have ruined milk for you as well, I apologize.
However, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy comestibles have never posed a problem for me. I went through a “fro-yo” phase in Los Angeles where I visited Bigg Chill, on the corner of W Olympic and Westwood, at least twice a week. But San Francisco, notoriously frozen yogurt free, quickly weaned me off my addiction.
And please do not direct me to Tuttimelon or Pinkberry or any other institution where they serve “tart.” I hate tart. Tart/plain/original is an abomination. If I wanted live active bacteria cultures making my dessert sour, I would have eaten mold.
Last week, I discovered a new dairy obsession. On Sutter St. between Hyde and Leavenworth is a little gelateria named Dolce Gelato. And they have the most peanutty Peanut Butter Cup flavor, an amazing Cabernet grape, and a dark, dark, dark chocolate.
Tonight, M got Stracciatella and Mint Chip and I chose Fresh Ginger and Mango sorbet. The Stracciatella tasted like an upscale version of McDonald’s Oreo McFlurry and my mound of ginger gelato was exactly like a gingersnap, but cream colored. The Mango sorbet was good, but unmemorable and the Mint Chip was minty, but too toothpaste-tasting for me. Cannot wait to try the Pumpkin or the luscious looking Raspberry sorbet!
P.S. M recently ordered a soy mocha. And then hated himself.