Best Blast From the Past

"Higbee's Chocolate Malted" Custard at Rosati's

Combine the region's best custard with one of the citizenry's fondest memories, and you get Rosati's "Higbee's Chocolate Malted": a cool, creamy blast from the past that makes us wax nostalgic for downtown's glory days. Custardmeister Jim Rosati won't come clean on the specific blend of ingredients he's used to mimic the flavor of those bygone frosteds -- every child's delight, dispensed in Higbee's bargain basement from the 1930s until sometime in the '70s, when the whole damn city went to hell. But he allows that at least a few of the department store's former employees helped guide the formulation, which shows up as the "flavor of the day" two or three times a month. While the texture is firmer than the original's -- this is, after all, custard, not a drink -- the subtle chocolaty-malty taste is just as we remember it. Now, can we put this guy to work on recreating Mr. Jing-a-Ling?