Friday, April 3, 2009

Gelato

This was The Folk Singer's dessert after our lunch at Gott Gourmet. (And her dessert after our lunch at Semolina's the weekend before, but who's counting right?) She has decided that Sucre's gelato is superior to that from La Divina. I have to agree with her. La Divina lacks the smooth consistency which texturally separates gelato from ice cream. But honestly, I think that Sucre's gelato is not that great either.

What's the problem? Too much air, people. Gelato should should have the texture of thick Greek yogurt. The top of the display container should be thick ribbons as opposed to scoops. Gelato should be thick and smooth and silky and taste as rich as it could possible be (even though it's made with milk instead of cream.)

Let me stop here and make a confession: I believe that gelato is superior to ice cream. I'm probably one of the few people who will publicly admit such a taboo opinion. My conversion took place during my summer in Europe when I discovered Amorino. No bullshit, I once took a 2 hour train ride from Lyon to Paris for the sole purpose of eating dinner at Fromagerie 31 (a cheese shop which will forever hold a place in my heart) and gelato from Amorino. While some more respected bloggers have stated that Amorino is "an insult to Italians everywhere," I think it's the best dessert in the world. Much better than what I had in Italy in Cinque Terre. But what the hell do I know.

Anyway, back to the original question. Why can't I find really good gelato? Are the machines different? Is the milk not as fresh? Does Nutella just taste better in Europe? Maybe I am still looking in the wrong places? I have never tried Gelato Pazzo or Sophie's (which I have been informed is now closed), so I am keeping my fingers crossed that someone else can deliver the goods.
'
To be continued....

20 comments:

Frolic said...

Hasn't Sophie's been closed for months?

I like the texture of Gelato Pazzo. Seems closer to European, although still not as good. Then again, my memories of European gelato are colored with nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

Gelato Pazzo is far better than Sucre and La Divina. In my opinion, Sucre and La Divina have about the same quality of gelato, but La Divina has a better diversity of flavors.

Arthur "The Bear" Hebert said...

I agree gelato is tons better than ice cream

Rene said...

When I lived in St. Louis there was this place called Ted Drewes which was frozen custard. And hot damn was it the best version of milk, flavorings, and eggs meeting freezing temperatures I have ever had.

Now the trivia question for the day what was the name of the 50's style Custard Place in New Orleans?

First one to answer wins a cheeseburger from the New Old Buds.

Shedd said...

Gelato is much better than ice cream. I love ice cream, don't get me wrong, but gelato is simply fantastic. I studied in Florence for six months and the first two weeks my roommates and I went out for gelato every night. I happen to like La Divina very much. Sucre too. I wouldn't say either is much better than the other though. Also, neither is quite what I would call gelato, so I agree with you there as well. I too would like to know why it is so hard to find good gelato Stateside. And yes, Nutella tastes better in Europe.

Anita said...

You've never been to Gelato Pazzo? That's just . . . crazy! Go.

Celeste said...

Chelsey's Frozen Custard, but spare me the Bud's burger (blech). I've noshed my way through more than my fair share of italian gelato, and I rank the locals like this: La Divina, Brocato's, Gelato Pazzo, then Sucre. My beef with Sucre--fake colors, obvious flavors, and a gummy texture. Right now, I'm all about Gelato Pazzo's lemon sorbetto.

The Folk Singer said...

In all honesty, I didn't try La Divina, but when we walked in, the gelato looked like a pathetic attempt at sorbet. Peter said he hadn't been impressed by them before, so we went back to Sucre. In hindsight, I should have given La Divina a chance...I'll check it out next time.

kfunck1 said...

Brocato's?

Peter said...

I promise to hit up Gelato Pazzo the next time possible.

Yeah, it's not that Sucre or La Divina are "bad." It's just that it's not gelato as I know it. They are both fine subsitutes for ice cream.

But when I read "gelato" I want thick and smooth and silky. I want to feel like I am basically eating nearly-frozen Nutella out of the jar.

P.S. - I love Nutella.

Celeste said...

American Nutella sucks...it has hydrogenated oils added to it. If you can find the imported version, it's loads better, with no crappy ingredients. Or make it from scratch....even better.

And La Divina is light years from a "pathetic attempt at sorbet". First off, the place uses local milk from Smith's Creamery. Everything is made from scratch, using as many local ingredients as humanly possible. No fake stuff, flavors or colors. It's as good as the high-end gelatos I've tried (Grom, San Crispino, etc).

Don't be confused by the crap sold to tourists in Europe, dyed lurid colors and stuffed full of fake flavors, stabilizers, and piled high in open bins, with fruit suggestively placed on top (yet containing no actual fruit).

Donnie Boy Riguez said...

Chef Boyardee and Frank Stallone are real insults to Italians.

The Folk Singer said...

No offense meant to La Divina. Maybe they were having an off day. But I'm not interested in eating gelato that can barely be scooped because it was so hard. Like I said, it looked like a pathetic attempt at sorbet.

Frolic said...

Ted Drewes. God I loved that place.

Lauren said...

mmmmm. ted drewe's.

Faine said...

I entirely agree about the general superiority of gelato to ice cream. Gelato is infinitely better then ice cream and I will not believe otherwise.

I need to do a taste test of Sucre and La Divina sometime.

I will say that New Orleans is doing pretty well in comparison to many American cities regarding gelato availability. I'm originally from California and we have a nasty serve-yer-own fat free yogurt place on every corner - but gelato? Forget it!

The Folk Singer said...

Spoiler Alert:Gelato Pazzo wins.

David C. Coons said...

Jefferson Parish update: for good gelato without the uptown pretension, try Gaspare's on Clearview (lakeside of W. Esplanade). Former Girard all-stars will remember this location as the former Mr. Trophy.

MaryMagdelene said...

Don't you have exams?

OCD said...

Sorry just wanted there to be an even, round number of comments.