I was wandering aimlessly through the grocery store before work earlier this week, and this little container just called out to me:
If you’re not sure what this is, it’s a two-inch-tall container of gelato I found in the frozen section next to the ice cream. Gelato, which originated in Italy, is a similar frozen dessert to ice cream.
It’s often billed as a healthier alternative to ice cream, claiming to contain less fat because of ingredients and the process by which it is made. In my opinion, gelato is also creamier than ice cream, and has a consistency suited to both cream and fruit bases.
Strangely enough, I’m picky about my gelato. When I went to Italy a few years ago, I ate at least one serving of gelato a day (often two, but I think the hiking and walking I did made up for it), and found gelato back home lacking that special edge – most of it strongly resembled ice cream instead.
However, when I saw this little container, I decided to give it a try and was pretty impressed. I got the Turkish Pistachio type (they also had Blood Orange that day) and thought the consistency was very good – not as thick as ice cream and smoother.
I also like how the single-serve container is perfect for me – I don’t eat ice cream or gelato often, so I don’t like keeping whole containers in the freezer. But these are perfect – the right amount of gelato at one time. I also prefer the gelato because the mini ice cream containers of the same size still seem to be too much for me because of the density of the product.
I would certainly get these again, and not just because they come with a little plastic spoon built into the lid!
However, if you’re interested in having fresh-made gelato instead of from a container, the Whole Foods in Chapel Hill installed a gelato bar (about the time it also installed a barbecue bar, which is a whole other story) which I think is pretty authentic.
As one of the people serving gelato told me, they rotate flavors based on what they feel like making, so every time I’ve gone over, there’s something new. They even have my favorite flavor from Italy – stracciatella, which is basically like plain gelato with thin chocolate shavings. Give it a try and let me know, or better yet, I’ll come with you!