Gelato Every Day: Week 4

Our first stop this past week was Gelateria dei Neri. Both Brett and I chose the Sacher torte flavor which was filled with actual pieces of cake and apricot jam, and he added a scoop of cherry cheesecake while I tried the rice pudding flavor (which was amazing!).

I have good news and bad news this week about our daily gelato tastings.

Back for a second time at Perche no? I ordered the offbeat but wonderfully delicious curry with mango and pear gelato along with a scoop of honey sesame crunch. Brett chose coffee and chestnut flavors.

Bad news first: Winter has arrived in Florence and it has gotten quite cold, especially for us former tropical island dwellers. Because of the cold our desire for gelato has dropped way, way down on the scale of enjoyable pastimes. We’ve had a couple of days where almost didn’t stop for our daily treat, but in the end we got out there and did – yeah us (and, of course it was wonderful)!

We had spotted the La Strega Nocciola gelateria on an earlier walk but had already had gelato that day so we went back this week to give it a try. I chose Azteca (white chocolate & cinnamon) and lavender flavors, and Brett had buontalenti (vanilla custard made with mascarpone cheese) and orange cream gelatos. Although our cones were kind of sloppy, the gelato was very, very good.

The good news is that in spite of the cold we were able to experience some very exciting flavors of gelato this week, up to and including curry! Who would have guessed that one? It has been a genuine taster’s market this week, so we feel like we’re leaving Florence on a high note when it comes to gelato.

At our first stop at Sbrinno for the week I chose quince and red grape flavors, and Brett decided on mulberry and walnut.
We made a second stop at Sbrinno the next day for some of their chocolate flavors: Brett enjoyed chocolate hazelnut with raspberry and chestnut cake while I tried white chocolate and Sbrinno’s Sacher torte (which I preferred to dei Neri’s).

After four weeks, both Brett and I unanimously agree that our neighborhood gelateria, Sbrinno Gelatifacio Contadino, is our hands down favorite in Florence. Other places have been very good but Sbrinno has always had interesting and on-point flavors, their gelato is made by hand in the shop (we’ve gotten to watch them make it) and they use natural ingredients sourced from local farms. It hasn’t hurt either that they’re also conveniently located near to our apartment and are open every day, making it easy to stop by the shop on our way home.

We were not particularly hungry following our pizza class on Sunday evening, but we noticed Cantina di Gelato was open on our walk home so we stopped in for a small cone: I had a scoop of peanut butter, and Brett again chose creamy buontalenti.

While we are not exactly tired of gelato and have had a lot of fun searching out different gelateria, both Brett and I feel like we need a break, so are not sure how much gelato we will eat while we’re in Rome. We’ve been warned though that the gelato there is quite delicious, so we may not be able to resist! Brett may not be ready to give up his hand model gig either.

We went back today to La Carraia today but none of their flavors appealed to us, so we walked back once more to Sbrinno where I discovered they had licorice gelato (and licorice is one of my favorite things)! After some discussion with the server and a few tastings I paired it fresh pear, which contrasted nicely with the strong licorice flavor. Brett chose dark Sicilian chocolate and added a scoop of strawberry. We will miss this gelateria – their gelato and flavors have never disappointed!

12 thoughts on “Gelato Every Day: Week 4

    1. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!

      Actually the whole activity was a lot of fun, and gave us something fun to look forward to every day. And, the hunt for new flavors became part of that fun. We were amazed over and over by the creativity we discovered when it came to flavors. Almost nothing seemed out of bounds. I read that one gelateria in the Cinque Terre (Corniglia, the one village we didn’t visit) had basil gelato – I would have loved to try that. And we learned our local place sometimes sells a jasmine gelato which sounded interesting as well.

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    1. I don’t know if I can answer this! One thing we learned here is that a good gelateria will advise you on which of their flavors go together, and if you’re thinking of two flavors that don’t complement each other they will let you know. They will also make suggestions for flavor pairings.

      My favorite flavors? Persimmon, pumpkin pie, pear, rice pudding, Sacher, anything with fig, curry, and our local shop’s orange and ginger. But really . . . they were all good. I never had a flavor I didn’t like.

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    1. The last few days were hard here because of the cold, and we had to make ourselves order it, but once we got our orders we were glad we went.

      I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about gelato and ice cream once we’re back in the U.S. Things here are so much less sweet than in America, and I’ve come to prefer it that way. When I think of U.S. desserts I almost can’t imagine eating them now. I had a Lindt truffle the other day and it was almost overpoweringly sweet to where I really didn’t enjoy it, or as much as I used to in the past. Never thought I’d hear myself thinking that.

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  1. Makes me want to go back!

    Sounds like the weather there is like that here. It’s freezing and much too early. We’re about 15 degrees colder than the norm and have been for most of November. In addition, though we live by the Lakes and expect gray winters, we’ve had less than 4% of available sun this month! On the days when the sun does come out, everyone is dancing for joy.

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    1. I know we’re going to be thinking of the gelato here for a long time to come. Having it every day has been such a fun activity.

      Rome is forecast to be warmer than here, so we may catch a break. The cold and gloom here in Florence just sort of snuck up on us – it was so pleasant for so long and then boom! It’s winter (or what feels like winter for us)!

      The gloomy weather has been a reminder for us too of why we chose to live in Hawai’i – we were tired of the cold, gray Portland winters. We almost can’t believe the difference in our moods when the sun is out, and how our energy level changes.

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  2. I like that you are trying new flavors and different pairings during your gelato tastings. Your posts make me want to hop on a plane to Florence to experience this myself!

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    1. We’ve had so much fun doing this while we’ve been in Florence, and I’m glad for all that we’ve learned about gelato – how it’s made, how to tell “good” or “quality” gelato, and especially how to pair flavors. We’ve sometimes joked about Brett’s “beige” cones, but he always did a good job of putting flavors together that happened to be similar in flavor. Yesterday’s experience of choosing something to pair with the strong licorice flavor felt sort of like a final exam, and I think I passed!

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