Being outside in North Texas in the summer feels like standing on the surface of the sun. The impulse to cool down has the whole city guzzling fizzy waters and frozen drinks, eating cold noodles, and, of course, trying to find the most delicious ice cream. But the way we eat ice cream isn’t actually conducive to cooling down.
Grabbing a cone that’s going to start melting as soon as you walk outside and drip all over your hand is not an experience to relish. And it’s not exactly a chill vibe to go into a place with uncomfortable seating and a fast food atmosphere that makes you want to leave as quickly as possible.
Eataly Dallas is bringing another way to consume a sweet summer treat to the table: coppe. Known in Italian as coppa di gelato, it’s the Italian version of an ice cream sundae that’s far more elaborate and made with gelato or sorbet. The key difference comes not just between ice cream or gelato, but in how you eat it. A coppe is served in a tall glass dish with a long spoon and is meant to be savored — slowly. You don’t rush in, grab one of these bad boys, and run out with it. You sit and stay awhile, like the Italians do.
The coppe program at Eataly Dallas was developed by their pastry chef, Elisa Pellegrini, who hails from Northern Italy. “Eataly told me to create something that I love, but I love all gelato and can eat everything,” Pellegrini tells Eater Dallas in an interview at the North Park Mall gelateria. “I wanted to think of what American people would like, how to best represent gelato in a coppe, and come up with something new.”
What came from her brainstorm are some combinations that will tempt any gelato fan to stay and savor them. The Eataly team says that among its most popular coppe is the Texana, which uses chocolate and caramel gelato topped with bourbon gel, candied Texas pecans, whipped cream, and Devil’s Food cake crumble. “I saw during my year and a half here, Texans love chocolate,” Pellegrini says.
People are also enjoying the Preziosa, which uses a base of pistachio, chocolate, and cherry gelato topped with sour cherries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, salted pistachios, and more of that Devil’s Food cake crumble. “For me, what never misses in a coppe is having whipped cream on top,” Pellegrini says. “Then everything is richer.”
One of the benefits of eating gelato rather than ice cream, Pellegrini explains, is that gelato is made in small batches that aren’t kept for more than a couple of days, because it goes bad quickly due to the large amount of fresh ingredients. Every scoop will be fresher, and made with heavy cream and milk, rather than powder.
Perhaps the most seductive part of the idea of treating yourself to a coppe is allowing yourself to enjoy it. “You sit down and have an afternoon snack, or a meal when eating a coppe,” Pellegrini says. “Whatever you want it to be, but take your time and enjoy the gelato. Food for Italians is very important. We can stay at the table for hours.”
No need to wait for it to try a coppe but Eataly Dallas will host Gelato Fest on Friday, July 22 and again on August 19. The pastry chef team will prepare all kinds of gelato dishes, including boozy sorbet, affogato (a coffee-based treat), sweet focaccia with gelato, limited edition flavors only available that day, and, of course, the current menu of coppe.