Piece Meal posted about beloved buffalo milk cheeses from Italy on December 4. We are now re-angling the limelight on another buffalo milk revelation—Double 8 Dairy’s farmstead gelato.
Buffalo produce the richest, creamiest milk imaginable, which is why Double 8 in West Petaluma makes their gelato only with milk, no cream at all. Buffalo milk has a higher butterfat content than cow’s milk and is naturally homogenized. Whereas traditional cow’s milk ice cream can be weighted down by cream and bears a slightly grainy texture from excessive added sugar, buffalo milk is naturally sweeter and produces a light, silky-textured gelato.
Until recently, Double 8’s gelato has been a well-kept secret due to their small production. Restaurants such as the French Laundry and SPQR have been offering Double 8 gelato on their menus, but now it is available for purchase at select grocery stores around the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Piece Meal spotted it in the freezer section of Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes, CA. (Double 8 also has a small scoop stand in Point Reyes outside Toby’s Feed Barn.)
Flavors include some seasonal oddballs such as “Candy Cap,” a mapley-tasting local mushroom, but Double 8 regularly offers hazelnut, nutmeg, cardamom, fennel pollen, cinnamon, coffee, caramel swirl, and raspberry. Their signature is the Fior di Latte, which is unadulterated buffalo milk gelato (shown in the pictures), akin in principle to “sweet cream” flavored ice cream, but with a unique, almost floury taste. It is excellent on its own, but really shines under a shot of espresso, some homemade unsweetened blueberry syrup, or traditional hot fudge and caramel toppings.
Double 8 is currently the only dairy in the US raising water buffalo for milk. We can’t wait for Double 8’s perfect trifecta when they start production, as promised, of ricotta and mozzarella, too.