The Fine Art of Gelato Tasting

Gelato is one of Italy’s beloved foods. It is usually a dessert. Gelato and ice cream are different. Don’t think they are the same thing. While we were in Italy, we made sure we got a lot of this yummy dessert. The first really good one we found was at a pizza making course. (See Jacob’s blog for details)

They made gelato in front of us while we were making our pizzas. After we finished eating our pizzas, they served the gelato. The gelato was chocolate flavour and very smooth. When we were eating it the instructors told us about what to look for when you go to a good gelato place. #1: You should look and see what the colours are. If they are bright, they are not natural. #2: They usually only have 10-15 flavours because it is difficult to make gelato fresh every day. Gelato machines are expensive and it is unlikely that they would have enough machines to make new gelato every day. #3: They can’t be big mounds because fresh gelato can’t be shaped. Fresh gelato is too soft.

Tuscany's beautiful rolling hills.

Tuscany’s beautiful rolling hills.

Gelato in Riomaggiore. They make orange gelato that it amazing!

Gelato in Riomaggiore. They make orange gelato that it amazing!

When we went to Tuscany there were tons of little towns dotting the landscape. Most towns had at least one gelateria. We decided to go on a hunt for the best gelato. The first place we tried was in Radda at a place called the Sandy Cafe. Jacob and I made a chart of: Flavour, colour, look, cone, creaminess and firmness. This Café had a great view but we didn’t see a lot to eat. In the end we were very surprised when we saw the gelato. They weren’t really bright colours and there were only 10 or so flavours. We ate the gelato super fast because we liked it so much. We rated it: flavour: best ever, colour: awesome, look: best ever, cone: awesome, creaminess: awesome and firmness: best ever. We loved it!

2 flavour gelato at the Sandy Cafe!

2 flavour gelato at the Sandy Cafe!

After finishing the gelato, we headed for the next town, Castelina. In Castelina we went to the first gelateria we saw. It didn’t score very high. It had bright colours and lots of flavours, but it was busy so we thought it would be good. We were disappointed. The ratings were: flavour: Ok, colour: Ok, look: Ok, cone: bad, creaminess: Ok and the firmness: Ok. We did enjoy it, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the last one. The town itself was cute. It was on a large hill with a beautiful view.

Leaning tower of Pisa everyone!

Leaning tower of Pisa everyone!

The next town was Pisa. In Pisa we saw the huge Leaning Tower of Pisa. It you see pictures of it they don’t do the tower justice. The tower is leaning at a 5.5 degree angle but it looks like a lot more in person. It looks like it is leaning almost 30 degrees. It was so weird to see it leaning so much. It looked like it would fall any moment. Anyway… lets get back to the gelato. We found a little coffee shop in Pisa that was buzzing and it sold gelato. The gelato was ok but the one in Radda was definitely better.

Yummy gelato in Pisa.

Yummy gelato in Pisa.

Voltara was the last town on our gelato hunt. We went to this nice little place next to the park. This little place had little chocolates and sweets shaped in different shapes. This gelato was very good and rated second only to Radda. The flavour was awesome, colour was awesome, the look of the gelato was awesome too. Every thing was awesome!

Gelato in Venice, one of the best.

Gelato in Venice, one of the best.

Sadly our little tour came to an end and we headed back to our little house.

Days later we discovered another, somewhat hidden, gelateria in Castelina. This was the best gelato that we found in Tuscany, but not the best in Italy. The best gelateria we found was in Sirmione on Lake Garda. My Dad says that he wants to go back there just for the gelato!

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