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Gelato - Italian Ice Cream

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gelato, sorbetto, ice cream

Gelato: Il Sorbetto serves gelato plain and in fruity concoctions.

Martha Bakerjian
When your friends come home from a trip to Italy, what do they rave about the most? Most likely it will be Italian ice cream, acknowledged by many experts in the subject to be the best ice cream in the world.

Where to Find Gelato

No tourist destination in Italy lacks for the cheerful, refrigerated gelato case, often found gleaming on the sidewalk in good weather.

You can buy gelato in some bars and in special ice cream shops, where they often make a variety of special ice cream dishes, like sundaes. Remember, you will usually pay more to sit down and eat your ice cream, especially in larger cities.

You'll want to look for signs proclaiming gelato fatto en casa (homemade), produzione propia (our own production), or artiginale (artisan). If you can't find those, the mass produced gelato is pretty darn good, too.

Here's a tip for finding a good gelato shop - look at the pistachio ice cream. If the color looks like a very fake green, it's probably not a good place to go.

Ordering Gelato

gelato, italian, ice cream, flavors

Gelato: Italian Ice Cream Comes in a Bewildering Array of Flavors

Martha Bakerjian

Don't speak Italian? Don't worry. Usually the placards naming the gelato include pictures of the main ingredients, so you should be able to figure out what they are. Point to what you want if you have to.

If you can't decide what flavor to try, try several; even on a small cone you can usually choose 2 flavors.

The fruit flavors, made with real fruit, are especially refreshing in summer. My favorites are limone (lemon) and melone (melon-cantalope).

Gelato Words

  • gelato-ice cream
  • gelateria-ice cream shop
  • cono-cone
  • coppa-cup
  • gusti-flavors (thus 3 gusti=three flavors)
  • sorbetto-sherbert
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