Like fast food in America, gelato can be found on nearly every city block of Italy. The small shops prey on pedestrians and tourists in the busy pizzas of hot summer days, the ones who will take anything to reduce the sweat streaming from their brows. Two summers ago, I was one of those wandering strangers.
Strolling through square after square, city after city, I found myself tempted on numerous occasions by the cold, creamy gelato – aka, the Italian word for “ice cream”. But each time I caved in and purchased a scoop from one of the freezers, I nearly always found myself disappointed.
For me, it was the wine, the bread, the homemade pasta that really stole my love. It was not, however, the denser, ubiquitous version of ice cream. This denseness, derived from a churning process significantly slower than ice cream, I must say I really do love. Gelato has around 25% less air whipped into it than your standard Ben and Jerry’s, which is part of the reason why it’s so creamy. But its sweetness, I just couldn’t tolerate.
My guess is that it was all the tart-flavored FroYo I’d been guzzling from the states, because no matter what flavor I tried, from Rome to Florence and beyond, everything tasted too sugary. I still feel that way about gelato every time its shiny silkiness hooks me into buying it here in Philadelphia.
However, Talenti’s changed my mind. I honestly don’t know what’s different about Talenti. I’m not really sure it’s any less sweet. But one slightly melted bite of the Salted Caramel and my whole opinion of gelato changed. Still my favorite flavor of all the ones I’ve tried, those chocolate covered caramel pieces get me every time. Maybe it’s the salt that pairs so well with the sweetness, but I could certainly indulge in a scoop of this flavor regularly without tiring of it— even in the cool months of winter, which is when I’ve been testing out all the flavors.
My second favorite? The Pistachio. Whole nuts are dispersed throughout a container of vanilla and pistachio-flavored gelato. This would be a great twist to pair with pie.
I know it’s technically not gelato-season, but you still see an occasional pie on the menu, and a scoop of the Salted Caramel is literally the best way to complete a warm slice of the apple variety.
Want to try some of the Salted Caramel yourself? ‘Tis the season for giving. Because of my natural love for it, I’ve convinced Talenti to give one of you lucky readers four free vouchers to try out their gelato. I recommend using at least three on the caramel.
(Leave a separate comment per entry. Each separate comment will give you one entry in the contest.)
This contest closes on **December 26, 2012 at 1:00pm EST**
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me which flavor you’re most curious to sample.
2) Leave a comment telling me your top choice: Ice cream, gelato or fro-yo?
3) Become a fan of F-F-F on Facebook
4) Follow me on Twitter
5) Link this giveaway on one of your blog posts and let me know that you did.
6) Tweet a variation of this on Twitter: @GraceDickinson is hosting a gelato giveaway (Salted Caramel anyone?) at FoodFitnessFreshAir.com.
One winner will be chosen at random by random.org.