Pitango Gelato takes pride in fresh, organic sweets

By Julie Kracov, Business Manager

Clean, fresh and serene, Pitango Gelatos’ delicate atmosphere opens up the worlds of ice cream lovers to a new and healthy way to indulge their sweet tooth. 
Gelato, which means frozen in Italian, is a healthier version of ice cream that contains only five to eight percent of milk fat, whereas ice cream can contain up to 18 percent of milk fat. At Pitango Gelato, the unique hands-on process in which the Italian ice cream is produced ensures flavor over fat and makes all the difference.
“We have an organic dairy plant in Lancaster, PA on a Mennonite dairy farm,” said Noah Dan, CHS parent and CEO of Pitango Gelato.  “This way we can use and process our own milk, and control our product from the cow to the consumer.”
Not only is the milk in the gelato guaranteed fresh, but Dan takes pride that his store has the highest quality ingredients.  From pistachios imported from the foothills of Mt. Etna in Sicily to vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, each scoop of gelato or sorbet is better than the next.   
According to Dan, taking extra care in the ingredients ensures that his gelato is much better than competing stores, because most producers of gelato do not use real fruit in their products.
“When we sell raspberry sorbet, each portion has half a pint of raspberries in it,” Dan said. 
With uncommon flavors like gianduja (chocolate hazelnut), mojito and white grapefruit, as well as more common ones such as strawberry and chocolate, the store provides for all types of people, even those who do not enjoy frozen desserts.
Pitango Gelato also offers hot beverages, including Marocchino (a shot of espresso with an equal part hot chocolate), Affogato (espresso with a scoop of hazelnut or chocolate gelato) and hot chocolate. However, these options do come at a cost.  A regular size gelato sells for the hefty price of $4.50 and a large is $6.50. 
“The nature of the product is a bit upscale being organic and made with expensive ingredients,” Dan said. 
This is exactly what Dan has done.  Since the original Pitango Gelato opened in 2007 at Baltimore’s Fells Point, Dan has added three more locations.  Two of them are located in DC in Penn Quarter and Logan Circle, while the other one is in Reston Town Center in Virginia. He hopes that the chain will continue to grow in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas.
“I want to expand the shop further, mostly in urban areas,” Dan said. 
For now though, these gelato shops reaffirm Dan’s dreams of bringing back the flavors of his Italian childhood, and are attracting customers left and right.