August 1, 2006

Gelati, originally uploaded by elskermeg.

During our trip to Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice, we had the opportunity to sample many, many, many types of gelato. The combination of the miserable heat and abundance of gelato shops meant that we averaged 2 to 3 “gelato breaks” a day. At some point during the trip, I decided to start taking photographs in an attempt to document our favorite flavor combinations. The winner out of this set was the chocolate and coconut (far right). Some of the other combinations to be seen in this collage are (left to right): apricot /rice pudding, blueberry/yogurt, and chocolate/pistachio (pistachio is always a good bet in Sicily but the bright green color of this one means that they probably added artificial color and flavor). The key to finding good gelato when traveling is to look for a sign that says “produzione propria,” meaning it’s made on the premises.

img_6380-1.JPGAlthough the gelato in Florence is supposed to be the best, I’ve found that the gelato in Sicily is just as good and in many cases better than the gelato up north (like many things here). One exception was the gelato we had at Vivoli in Florence. It might be overrated (all the guidbooks point tourists there), but the rice-flavored (riso) gelato that we all tried was an experience I’ll never forget! If you love rice pudding, this is the gelato for you! If not, stay away from it because it is actually filled with grains of rice, just like the pudding. It took a minute to get past the strange texture of frozen, cooked rice but once I did, I enjoyed it more than any other we tasted. I tried the riso with fragola (strawberry) at the suggestion of the woman behind the counter. It was good but I wish I had stuck with a full cup of riso (they don’t offer cones at Vivoli). I did see some “riso” flavored gelato when we were in Siena (top photo, far left) but it didn’t have rice in it and the flavor was horrible.



8 Responses to “Gelatomania!”

  1. Alicat Says:

    My those are some pretty little gelatos you have there. 🙂 There is a place up here in Montana that supposedly makes good gelato — but I tried it and it SUCKED. I also tried their chocolate custard — SUCKED TOO! 😦 I love love love authentic custard (I’ve only had the good stuff in Wisconsin) but I always imagned gelato to be sort of similar?

  2. elskermeg Says:

    I’ve never had frozen custard. In fact I just googled it to find out exactly what you were referring to! Sounds like Wisconsin is the place to go for Custard and now I want to try it! Gelato is basically like a good american ice cream that is a little softer, a little creamier and a lot better!

  3. sandy Says:

    i am sure this is soooo much better than the stuff in the stores. Have you tried making it? And, I had no idea of all the favors.

  4. Jessica Says:

    This is definitely the way to do it! Sounds so yummy! And how else would you keep cool? Really I think it was just plain smart to keep eating gelato all day long.
    When I was in Paris, I would try the tartes aux framboises (tarts with yummy custard or cream filling topped with fresh raspberries) every time I saw them displayed in a bakery window. And I found a favorite where I returned at least once more. 🙂
    Also, every time I look at the cone on the far right, I think the coconut is about to take a leap!

  5. Dustin Says:

    Is it just me, or is Gelato easier on the digestive system of people who experience occasional lactose intolerance?
    If I have a couple scoops of Ben and Jerry’s, I am not going to be feeling good later, but I can eat buckets of Gelato. Of course, for people who are lactose intolerant, they can opt for granita, which I don’t think you’ll find anywhere besides Sicily…
    My favorite Gelato is arancia, fragola, and watermelon is good, oh, don’t get the kiwi, it taste more like the furry skin it comes in…

  6. fiberfetish Says:

    I had gelato in NYC the other weekend. So cool and delicious.

    Also, your photos of food make me so hungry!

  7. AH, Vivoli. I used to live in Florence, so I know Vivoli all too well. I, like you, had a gelato habit, but when you walk 5 hours a day, who cares? I think I got into an automobile TWICE in 3 months. For me, the Frutta di Bosco at the Ponte Vecchio was absolutely the best. And, since I had to walk over that wonderful bridge twice a day, you can bet I had a whole heck of a lot of gelato. 😉
    It was fabulous living vicariously through you for a moment……

    and I’m sure you’ll appreciate MY blog….. “è la vita“…

    Ci vediamo presto…..

  8. elskermeg Says:

    Thanks for stopping bye everyone 🙂 Sandy, no I’ve never tried making it. There’s so much good gelato to be had here, I don’t think I’ll bother. Although I would like to get an ice cream maker sometime.

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