When I first talked about going to Italy, my friends and family mentioned that I would probably end up at a gelateria once or twice. Due to my excessive love of ice cream, I guessed it would be a bit more. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some news to announce. I have become a gelato addict! It has turned into an almost daily habit for me, although I attempt to try new flavors and gelaterias each time I go!
There’s some important things I’ve learned so far about gelato:
#1 The higher the gelato is piled, the less authentic it is. High piled gelato is a show for the tourists, and while it may have exciting colors and flavors, it usually contains more preservatives and chemicals, and is best to stay away from.
#2 Be sure to mention what size you want, especially at a more touristic gelateria, otherwise they will give you the biggest size and you will have to pay quite a high price. While an extraordinary amount of gelato is never bad, it can be quite a surprise sometimes to be paying 8 euro for your midday treat.
#3 The gelateria’s that have their gelato inside metal tubs that you can’t see into, are the best ones to go to. The flavors are usually the yummiest, and the gelato is made in smaller portions, meaning that it is usually fresher.
#4 Gelato is acceptable any time of the day, rain or shine, and as many times during the day as you think is necessary. However, if you’re going to frequent a gelateria as often as I do, I would suggest trying new flavors to keep things exciting! Generally Italians don’t mix fruit and creamy flavors, but you are free to experiment. I’ve found that hazelnut and chocolate make a good pair, as do strawberry and apple.
#5 The first flavor you ask for in your gelato order is the one you will get the most of, so choose wisely.
#6 Gelaterias are also wonderful places to find the most delicious nutella filled crepes….