A Quick Guide to Gelato

One food everyone who visits Italy must not miss tasting is Italy's version of ice cream called gelato.  While gelato isn't made out of cream (it's made out of milk) the consistency is very much like that of ice cream.

Our first experience eating gelato was a heavenly one. When we first visited Italy we did not exactly know what gelato was but it was hot and it looked delicious. Upon tasting our first gelato our expectations were not only met, but exceeded. I tried strawberry (fragola) and my wife tried rice (riso). The gelato had such a pleasantly strong flavor and it literally melted in your mouth like a thin sliver of sorbet. 

There's always a smile when we're around gelato!
Gelato, over the years, has evolved into something quite sophisticated with a vast selection of flavor. Some people prefer to stick to a flavor that they already know is terrifc while others will spend each day sampling new flavors. Our only advice is to order a small portion (1 to 2 scoops at most) as anything more is simply overwhelming and could potentially put you off of any flavor that you once loved. (Visit Italy Logue for more more on this topic)

Main Flavor Groups

    Good and bad gelato?
    Gelato has become so popular with Italians and foreigners that it was just a matter of time before the big companies started mass producing gelato. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when considering whether to buy gelato from a gelateria or store.

    Here are some key factors to consider:

    •  Pay attention to color - The color of the gelato resemble a natural color and not be neon of off-colored.
    • Learn these Italian designations - “produzione propria” and “artigianale.” “Produzione propria” means that it’s made on-site, and “artigianale” means that it’s made the old-fashioned way with natural ingredients.
    • Labels - pre-printed standardized labels hint that the gelato is mass-produced commercialized product.
    • Metal tubs - Initially the mass-producers sold their gelato in plastic tubs which alerted the buyer as to the quality of the gelato. This is no longer the case but there still might be some places that serve non mass-produced gelato in metal tubs.

    How to order gelato in Italy
    In the bigger gelato stores it is typical to pay for your gelato in advance and then take the receipt to the the gelato counter to place your order. "Dimmi" or "Prego" often signals to you that your order is ready to be taken. It is possible to order gelato in a cone or a cup and in varying sizes.

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