Tag Archives | ice cream

How to Become a Gelato Snob

One thing that Luci and I never fight over is our love of really good Gelato.  I always feel a little unprepared when I we visit the upscale gelato establishments…so we have done some research on the finer points of the decadent nector!  Thanks in advance to our friends at Why Go Italy for the help.


First question:  What is gelato?  And How is it different than Ice cream?  Find out here (World of Ice Cream)


“Cioccolato” (chok-oh-LAH-toh) is basic chocolate, but the variations on this theme are nearly infinite. It’s all the rage to pair chocolate with other complimentary flavors, like hot pepper or orange, and there are also different kinds of chocolate even when it’s all by itself. Here are a few to look for:

  • cioccolato fondente (cho-koh-LAH-toh fawn-DEN-teh) – Dark chocolate lovers, this is the label to look for. And if you see cioccolato fondente extra noir, I think you’ll understand that we’re talking about the darkest of the dark chocolates here. Dark chocolate haters (what’s wrong with you?!?), look for cioccolato al latte (cho-koh-LAH-toh ahl LAH-tay), or milk chocolate.
  • bacio (BAH-cho) – Named for the famous chocolate candies that come from Perugia, this is a chocolate hazelnut combination not unlike Nutella (which is another common gelato flavor), often with bits of hazelnuts in the mix.
  • gianduja or gianduia (jahn-DOO-yah) – Either way it’s spelled, it means the same thing – a creamy combination of milk chocolate and hazelnut. This flavor comes primarily from the Piedmont region, but it can be found throughout Italy.
  • cioccolato all’arancia (cho-koh-LAH-toh ahl-ah-RAHN-cha) – This is chocolate orange. It’s most often a dark chocolate, not a milk chocolate, and may have either just an orange flavor or may also include candied bits of orange peel.
  • cioccolato con peperoncini (cho-koh-LAH-toh kohn pep-pehr-ohn-CHEE-nee) – Another trendy chocolate addition, besides orange, is pepper – and this is often how you’ll see it on the flavor placards. It’s basically a hot pepper infused chocolate (usually dark chocolate), and can vary in terms of heat.

The Nuts

Nuts are a popular ingredient in many of the chocolate and cream flavors, but they’re also stand-alone flavors as well.

  • pistacchio (pee-STAHK-yoh) – A classic flavor!
  • mandorla (mahn-DOOR-lah) – Almond
  • nocciola (noh-CHO-lah) – This is hazelnut all by itself (not combined with chocolate, as listed above).
  • castagna (kahs-TAHN-yah) – This is chestnut, and isn’t nearly as common as some of the other nut flavors.

The Creams

  • fior di latte (FYOR dee LAH-tay) – Perhaps the base flavor for all cream (or even chocolate) flavors, this is literally “flower of milk” and it’s a wonderfully subtle sweet cream flavor.
  • crema (KREH-mah) – This is a kind of egg custard flavor, and shouldn’t be confused with vanilla.
  • zabaione (zah-bah-YOH-nay) – This is based on a dessert of the same name, made from (among other things) egg yolks and sweet Marsala wine. So it’s an eggy and custardy flavor, with an overtone of Marsala.
  • cocco (KOH-koh) – Coconut
  • caffè (kah-FAY) – Just in case you aren’t getting enough coffee flavor in your daily morning espresso, here’s the gelato version.

The Fruits

Technically, these aren’t really considered gelati – instead, they’re sorbetti (sorbetto in the singular) because they’re made without milk. The fruit flavors are some of my favorites – they’re so intense, you’ll be amazed at how like the real thing they taste.

  • fragola (FRAH-go-lah) – Strawberry (and here’s the easiest strawberry gelato recipe ever!)
  • lampone (lahm-POH-nay) – Raspberry (oh-so good with a dark chocolate flavor)
  • limone (lee-MOH-nay) – Lemon (lime is really rare, but it’s lime, or LEE-may)
  • mandarino (mahn-dah-REE-noh) – Mandarin orange
  • melone (meh-LOH-nay) – Melon (usually cantaloupe)
  • albicocca (al-bee-KOH-kah) – Apricot (sounds yucky…anyone tried it??)
  • fico (FEE-koh) – Fig
  • frutti di bosco (FROO-tee dee BOHS-koh) – These aren’t fruits belonging to some guy named Bosco, this means “fruits of the forest,” generally things like blueberries and blackberries.
  • mela (MEH-lah) – Apple (also look for mela verde (MEH-lah VEHR-day), or green apple)
  • pera (PEH-rah) – This is pear, and one of my favorite fruit flavors. It’s a really subtle flavor, but one of the best features of well-made pear gelato is the texture. You really feel like you’re eating a pear.
  • pesca (PEHS-kah) – Peach

The Wildcards

You’ll find regional and seasonal gelato specialties wherever you go, and some that are based on popular Italian candy bars or other desserts. There are so many to odd creations and tastes…here are a few interesting ones:

  • zuppa inglese (TSOO-pah een-GLAY-zay) – Literally this is “English soup,” but it’s referring to that popular English dessert called “trifle.” It’s a custardy flavored base with bits of cookies (instead of sponge cake) and often a sweet wine like madeira or sherry.
  • riso (REE-zoh) – This is literally rice, but is more akin to the gelato version of rice pudding. And yes, there are bits of rice in it.
  • malaga (mah-LAH-gah) – Rum raisin
  • stracciatella (strah-cha-TEL-lah) – If you think of this kind of like the Italian gelato equivalent of chocolate chip ice cream, you’re in the ballpark. It’s a fior di latte base with chocolate bits in it. The chocolate has usually been drizzled over the top of the just-made gelato and then mixed in after it’s hardened.  This is a very common flavor.
  • liquirizia (lee-kwee-REE-tzee-ah) – You may have been able to guess this one (it’s licorice), but the pronunciation can be a bit tricky if you’re caught unawares. .
  • cannella (kah-NEL-lah) – This is cinnamon, and although it’s not that common it’s really a delight. It’s not like a super-hot cinnamon, but just a nice representation of the spice. Consider pairing this with fruit flavors like pear or apple, or with chocolate.

Ok…did we miss any?  What is your fav?  Just leave a comment below.

So how do your order Gelato?  Here is a great how to video:

World’$ Richest Dessert!

Sweet Indulgence at Serendipity 3 New York

Serendipity 3 is more than just a coffee shop; this boutique eatery situated in Manhattans Upper East Side is a tourist destination in its own right.  This kitsch ice cream parlour is a treat for both adults and children alike and with the wait for a table sometimes being a little on the long side the interesting decor and memorabilia on the walls

of Serendipity’s rich history should provide some entertainment whilst you wait.

Once inside the marble topped ice cream parlour tables and opulent Victorian decoration adds to the sense that this really is no ordinary coffee shop, open since 1954 this Upper East Side townhouse just a few steps from Bloomingdales has welcomed visitors from Andy Warhol to Beyonce to the cast of High School Musical.

Children are kept happy here with the fun food on offer, giant foot long hotdogs, gargantuan cheese burgers and meatloaf with mash and gravy is sure to fill them up and keep them quiet for at least a little while. Serendipity 3 though is not about the main courses, instead they are a mere obstacle you must get through, due to the restaurants policy on a minimum spend per person, this is the place for sweet indulgence with some of the most delicious desserts in New York City.

The most famous of which is the Frozen Hot Chocolate, big enough to share – or get your own to avoid any arguments, this is one sweet treat that must be tried on a visit to Serendipity 3.  This large dessert is a foodie’s heaven, providing you have a sweet tooth of course, a mountain of frozen hot chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate chunks and plenty of sugar.  And if you love it as much as many that visit the ice-cream parlour have before, you can even buy specially prepared mixes to help you make the treat from the Serendipity 3 website, if you are a little more adventurous in the kitchen you can even have a go at recreating the dessert with the recipe that has been a secret for over 50 years recently been made available to the public.

The most exuberant of the Serendipity 3 menu has to be The Golden Opulence Sundae, causing I’m sure its fair share of fights when choosing dessert. This dessert consisting of ice cream made from Madagascar vanilla beans and chunks of rare chocolate from Venezuela drizzled with Amedei Porcelena, some of the world’s most expensive chocolates and covered with marzipan cherries, gold covered almonds and chocolate truffles. If that wasn’t opulent enough the dessert is finished with a serving of sweet Grande Passion Caviar, 23 carat gold leaf and this is all served in a Baccarat Crystal goblet, that is yours to keep and an 18 carat spoon to eat it all with! Coming in at a grand total of $1000, this dessert holds the Guinness World Record title as the most expensive sundae in the world.  Just hope your other half isn’t in the mood for some caviar with their ice cream otherwise you could be in for an expensive meal out!

Charlotte writes for new travel site Simonseeks.com and if you are looking to visit Serendipity 3 or New York, you might want to also look at the top rated recommended New York hotels on Simonseeks, where you can find inspirational travel guides and expert advice.

Hit the Brick


Hit the Brick

“There isn’t any trendy food in the Treasure Valley!”–WRONG!

One of the best kept secrets in Boise…isn’t in Boise.  Located just down the road from Boise in Nampa, Idaho, Brick 29 is one of the very best independent food joints in the valley.  Highlights include: Bread Pudding, lamb shank, and of course the specialty dessert:  “The Brick”  basically it is a chocolate heaven!

Located in an converted Masonic Lodge, the historic property offers both ambiance and a hint of fun for the Idaho history buff.

Reservations are highly recommend.

Brick 29 on Urbanspoon