In another remarkable coincidence of fate, just around the time that I wrote my post on the Italian dessert affogato, a serving of gelato drowned with espresso (that's drowned, not shot), Starbucks came out with a new drink called an "Affogato Style", which has already attracted the scrutiny of the blogosphere. According to Starbucks, the new drink is made with Frappuccino® Blended Coffee, caramel syrup, and a "shot" of espresso.,
Back in New York and Chicago, there were some Jewish delis who described their cuisine as "kosher style." That meant that it may have looked like, smelled like, and tasted like kosher food, but from the viewpoint of the Jewish orthodoxy, was unfit for human, or at least Jewish consumption.
Now please do not generalize that last statement to mean that I believe that a Starbucks Affogato Style beverage is unfit for human consumption. I have never tasted one. In fact, I have never tasted a Frappuccino®, period.
My impression is that Frappuccino® is Starbucks' attempt to revive (or more precisely, move into the market niche of) soda fountain culture, long a mainstay of mainstream America before European coffeehouses were reintroduced. I remember soda fountain culture from my mid-20th-century childhood. Specifically, there was Dan & Ann's luncheonette, which had a big sign for Hershey's Ice Cream over the door, and which was called Hershey's by my contemporaries from 6th through 9th grade. They had malts, shakes, sundaes, as well as cones. The real thing. Hersheys is history. However, I believe that the Frappuccino® is an attempt to tap into the residual American love for American-style ice-cream drinks. The soda-fountain culture has taken heavy hits from frozen yogurt, McDonald's milkshakes, juice bars, Ben and Jerry's (cute, but I knew Hershey's, and Ben and Jerry is no Hershey's), and the USDA Food Pyramid.
However, Starbucks' Frappuccino® is not a soda-fountain drink. It contains no soda water. It reportedly contains 39 grams of carbohydrate before the caramel syrup and coffee are added. It is therefore not "kosher" for diabetics, as it were.
If, therefore, you wish to consume a Frappuccino®, or an affogato-style Frappuccino® with a shot (yes, Jonas, a shot) of espresso, go for it. Maybe I'll try one some day, too. Who knows?—JDL
Relevant addendum: Gelateria Naia makes a great affogato. Unfortunately they're only in the East [side of San Francisco] Bay, and their affogato costs four and one-half bucks.
Irrelevant addendum: I have added a blogroll to this site. Look for the blogroll in the sidebar on the right.—JDL
Copyright ©2004-2005 Jonathan David Leavitt