In February 2000, Glenn and Kristin D’Ascenzo were vacationing in Rome. One day, they decided to try gelato for the first time at the famous Gelateria Monteforte Sas di Monteforte Giuseppina across from the Pantheon. They tried the fruit and chocolate gelato and decided they wanted to learn how to make gelato and share it with people back in the USA, because they thought it was the best frozen product. They started to experiment and develop different flavors that would satisfy peoples’ palates. The D’Ascenzo’s have successfully been serving the public for the past ten years through selling their gelato at markets, out of their three mobile carts and at their store for the past 6 years located in the heart of West Chester, PA.
I first tried D’Ascenzo’s gelato last summer with my boyfriend and I have been hooked every since. I guiltily admit that I go to D’Ascenzo’s at least once every two weeks. SpoonTip: If you say you are a WCU student, you get $1 off your yummy gelato! (They understand that we are broke college students). I know and they know that gelato is pricey, but I got the scoop on why it can be a bit more expensive than your traditional ice cream. Glenn D’Ascenzo said, “Gelato can be expensive, because it is expensive to make, food costs are higher, but the ingredients we use are the best ingredients.” Totally worth the price to me.
Glenn and Kristin D’Ascenzo try to get their ingredients from local places as much as possible, but sometimes they need to get the best quality ingredients from places that are a bit farther away. They get their milk delivered from Bailys Dairy Milk, which is from Pocopson Meadow Farm, which is the only farm in West Chester that produces hormome-free, 100% natural milk and dairy products right on their premises. They purchase their Raspberries from Highland Orchards, which is located in West Chester, PA. In addition, they purchase their beer to make some of their gelato from Boxcar Brewing Company, which is located in West Chester, PA. They get their Pistachios from California, Hazelnuts from Piedmont, Italy, Maple Syrup from Vermont, Oranges from Sicily, and Vanilla from Madagascar.
Glenn D’Ascenzo told me, “(he) pasteurizes the milk himself, which allows (him) the opportunity to experiment and develop flavors.” The couple are constantly making their gelato daily so that it is fresh. In addition, they bake their own cones: waffle, cake and sugar. I asked Glenn how he comes up with new flavor ideas and he responded, “Sometimes I just put a new flavor of gelato out and see how the customers react to it. Other times I get inspiration from my customers of what they would like to try. Also, of course I get inspiration from my wife and I’s travels to Europe and Italy.”
I personally think D’Ascenzo’s Gelato is the best in West Chester, but I wanted to see why Glenn and Kristin thought their gelato was the best. They humbly told me, “They use the best, freshest ingredients. They only make one pan at a time and they do not cut corners when they make their gelato.” Fun Fact: Glenn D’Ascenzo juices 20 lemons by hand in order to make their Lemon Gelato (which is my personal favorite).
D’Ascenzo’s Gelato’s most popular flavors are: Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, Nutella, Chocolate, Chocolate Hazelnut, Lemon, Stracciatella (Sweet Cream with Chocolate Chips), and Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt (Made with Éclat Chocolate, located in West Chester, PA). They are constantly developing new flavors and the flavors that we can look forward to this summer are: Blood Orange Creme Brulee, Pecan Praline and Philly Cheesecake with New Jersey Blueberries.
I definitely recommend stopping by D’Ascenzo’s Gelato if you need a treat for stress eating your way through finals or simply, because you need something sweet. I promise that it will not disappoint and you will probably end up going back 1,2, or maybe 30 times like I have since last summer.