Dining

Bleat the Heat

Bulgarini's twist on traditional Italian gelato

In a world of black-tea-lychee or chocolate-chipotle gelato--popular flavors at some of L.A.'s best scoop shops--sometimes a simple switch in dairy can make one reign supreme.

Goat's-milk gelato is a specialty of Leo Bulgarini, the proprietor and Italian-born gelato master at Altadena's Bulgarini Gelato. It's just one of the flavors on his small list--he offers about 12 varieties of small-batch, hand-churned gelatos each day--but it's definitely the most distinctive.

Bulgarini uses bold, earthy goat's milk because it's lower in lactose than cow's milk. In his signature gelato, the pure, tangy flavor isn't masked--not even by a hint of vanilla. It's creamy-smooth, as are all of his gelatos, with crunchy chocolate nibs for a welcome contrasting texture.

And goat isn't the only alternative dairy the gelato maker is experimenting with: He's developing sheep's-milk gelato this summer, too.

For those who don't wish to trek to the hidden strip mall in the foothills above Pasadena to find Bulgarini, you can also get it scooped at the Yamashiro Farmers' Market on Thursdays, and soon at the Laemmle theater in Pasadena. By early next year, Bulgarini hopes to open a new shop in Venice.

Bulgarini Gelato, 749 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena; 626-791-6174 or bulgarinigelato.com

Bulgarini Gelato 749 E. Altadena Dr Altadena CA 91001 626-791-6174 Bulgarini Gelato 749 E. Altadena Dr Altadena CA 91001 626-791-6174 Yamashiro Farmers Market 1999 North Sycamore Ave. Hollywood CA 90068

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