Gelato, gelato, gelato. As I said in my Florence post, I had gelato 6 times while in Italy--well, from 6 different places anyways. Now, let's get started as there's a lot to cover...
The first place we went shall go unnamed, as it was a mistake : ( After having dinner on our first night there, we wanted to get some Gelato A.S.A.P! So we found the closest place there was and ordered some. 9 Euros for giant servings of gelato that was actually kind of gross.
Having learned our lesson from the night before we did some research and found a few places. The first was Giolitti.
Giolitti is famous for being the first ice cream parlor in Rome and recently for a visit from President Obama. I got the Pistachio and Hazelnut and what massive step up it was from the night before! It was certainly better than anything I've had in Toronto.
Next was Il Gelato Di San Crispino of Eat, Pray, Love fame. Though avoiding the crowds, we chose not to visit the exact shop Elizabeth visited in the book.
This was one of my sisters' favorite stores--which I suspect the book may have something to do with--but I wasn't too big a fan.
Though, I suppose it could of been my choice of flavors. After having the heavy hazelnut and pistachio, I wanted something refreshing and got lemon. Feeling adventurous, I decided to combine that with Basil.
What I didn't know is that the lemon was custard based rather than just the juice. This made it heavy like a lemon meringue pie, not the light and refreshing flavor I was looking for. The Basil was interesting too, also being custard based, and the floral basil became almost soap like.
My fourth gelato was in Florence. While there, I finally got the lemon I was looking for, and at the time was my favorite gelato... but there were better things to come.
Ciampini was our fifth, sixth... and even 7th gelato . Clearly, yes, Ciampini was the favorite across the board.
This is where we discovered some of our favorite flavors: the hazelnut was as good as Simply Italian's back home, if not better; the dark chocolate was super rich and simply divine, with little bits of dark chocolate throughout; chestnut that was a plain gelato with little bits of candied chestnuts mixed in; and my personal favorite yogurt that tasted like a really good plain tart yogurt, which was a nice counter balance to all the other heavy flavors we had.
Here's a picture of my sister on our third round of gelato. We originally had our own but loved it so much that we ordered it again twice. And even so, she's still double-fisting, trying to get as much as she can before any of us get to it.
The last place I had gelato in Rome was at Grom. Grom was arguably my favorite gelato place and not only because they make some pretty amazing gelato, but because plastered all around their shops are their Grom Loves World philosophies. Motivated by the respect of the environment and the eco-sustainability, they follow the production of their ingredients closely, ensuring the best quality and efficiency standards are met. Even all their utensils are biodegradable.
One touch that Grom did offer that others didn't was a nice dollop of fresh whipped cream. This definitely helped push Grom up in the ranks for me. The whipped cream was light, refreshing, and a nice break between bites of gelato.
Being my last gelato, I went with pistachio as a classic, and dark chocolate just to see how it could compare to Ciampini's
The pistachio was amazing, much better than Giolitti's. The dark chocolate was equally as good, though Ciampini's was still better. The chunks in Grom's were much larger, and the gelato had as rich of a chocolate flavor.
Reading all this really makes me think, "Oh yeah! That's why I gained 25lbs when I went to Europe..."
- Donnie the Foodie
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