Angelo Brocato is an ice cream shop in New Orleans, Louisiana that first opened over 100 years ago. The shop's namesake, Angelo Brocato, reportedly learned to make Italian-style flavored ice in the late 1800s when he began an apprenticeship at a Palermo ice cream shop at age 12. While there, he also learned many other culinary techniques that the shop claims it still uses today, such as how to make biscotti and cannoli Siciliana. He eventually brought his knowledge to the U.S. when he opened his first ice cream parlor on the 500 block of New Orleans' Ursulines Street. Brocato's knowledge not only helped keep Italian traditions alive, but also helped create new ideas, like the gelato flavor torrincino and granita al limone — lemon-flavored ice that customers can dip warm bread into for breakfast on hot summer mornings.
The parlor has survived the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the death of its original owner. It also remained standing throughout Hurricane Katrina, despite being flooded with five feet of water. When the shop reopened just over a year after the historic 2006 hurricane, a line of customers wrapped around the block, ready to support the business again. The shop has been passed down from Brocato to his grandchildren and is currently located in Mid-City New Orleans.
What Angelo Brocato Is Like Over A Century Later
Today, Angelo Brocato is still going strong at its Mid-City location. The shop's Instagram features delectable pictures of ice cream, cannoli, pastries, and more that you can order in-store or online. In 2023, the ice cream parlor was named a semifinalist for a James Beard award in the outstanding bakery category. Arthur Brocato, the current owner and a descendant of Angelo's, told the Mid-City Messenger the staff was "honored and humbled" to be nominated.
In addition to award nominations, the parlor has received plenty of positive reviews from tourists. Only in Your State says the parlor's cannoli is the best in the world, and that the location's interior is reminiscent of the 1950s. One of the shop's less common gelato flavors that Mardi Gras visitors might want to try is King Cake. This flavor is based on the celebratory dessert of Fat Tuesday, which is a legal holiday in Louisiana. A real King Cake usually features the Mardi Gras colors — yellow, green, and purple — and is filled with cream cheese and fruit. While ice cream may not be the traditional way to eat the dessert, it certainly embraces the history of the Sicilian-rooted ice cream parlor.
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