Deliciously Cheap: LaScola’s


LaScola’s storefront

Daevan Mangalmurti, Editor

Avid readers of this column (of whom there are perhaps 3) know that never in our history has a review of a dessert store appeared in it’s not-so-storied (web)pages. Until today. Last fall, LaScola’s, a traditional Pittsburgh Italian ice business, opened its first brick-and-mortar location after years of roving around local fairs and festivals with carts full of dulcet confections. Unfortunately, the frigid cold of this winter shuttered their little shoppe until April 7, when they opened back up in anticipation of the warm temperatures ahead. While I first dropped by last year, I -naturally- felt a need to drop by again. I’m very glad I did. 

To the vast majority of Pittsburghers, the most recognizable Italian ice purveyors in these here parts are the various Rita’s franchises dotted around the city (there’s also Gus and Yia Yia’s stand up on the North Side, but that’s a very different kind of ice). The issue I find with Rita’s is that their Italian ice is only a cup of high-sucrose water at its core, sweet but lacking in texture. On the other hand, what LaScola’s churns out is filling, texturally satisfying, and tasty. I’m not sure what method they use to blend their ice (I suspect it involves some sort of dairy), but the end result is a creamy, slightly stretchy ice that holds its consistency and spreads around your mouth to create a rich, deeply delicious flavor. On the topic of flavors, LaScola’s currently offers orange creme, blue raspberry, and other fruit-derived flavors, along with root beer and salted caramel. They also serve a variety of scrumptious custards, of which my current favorites are cookies ‘n cream, rocky road, and vanilla. These are nearly as satisfying as their ices, and pair perfectly with them. In fact, my recommendation for a first time visitor would be to get an Ice Burg, which contains a scoop of custard and one of ice, and is absolutely delectable. In addition to the Ice Burg, they serve a variety of other interesting confections, like an affogato bar (espresso poured over custard) and custard-filled cannolis.

In short: take some time to drop by and grab one (or more) of their ambrosial aliments once the weather is warmer. You’ll be glad you did.