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just me??? I prefer plain old ice cream to gelato....

i don't seem to "taste" gelato flavors. I taste something cold, creamy & sweet, but in general, i taste the specific flavor of old skool ice cream more clearly, more enjoyably. I read so many posts with CHers & the general public swooning over gelato and I just don't have the same experience. I've had a variety of flavors across a variety of shops in all different types of areas and the results are always the same...i'm underwhelmed by the intensity of the flavor. the texture is lovely but it's just lacking. anyone else or am i all alone in this?

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  1. It really depends on which flavor that you are ordering I think. Some of the standard gelato flavors like fior di latte, crema, stracciatella, etc I can understand being considered unwhelming by some. However chocolate based gelato like cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate) or cioccolato con peperoncini (chocolate and hot pepper) I'd find difficult for anyone to claim that they "don't seem to taste" [the] flavors".
    I enjoy both ice cream and gelato, both for their texture.


    1. Hmm...I doubt it's just you, but I'm in the gelato camp. The flavors strike me as more pure. Less intense, but clearer, somehow. Among my favorites, in fact, are the "milkier," milder flavors—fiordilatte, yogurt (which isn't frozen yogurt but indeed yogurt-flavored gelato), cassata.

      Oh, hell, I love 'em all. Once had a cinnamon-prune in Rome that nearly killed me dead, it was so good.

      1. I know what you mean. A scoop (or 2) of good qualilty vanilla ice cream is very satisfying. I do like gelato, but a little Haagen Daaz, or even Edy's can be special. Also, when paying 3 or 4 dollars for a scoop of gelato (in NYC) I don't always feel I get the bang for my buck--I certainly taste the flavor but I'm not that crazy about it.

        1. I would be one of the CHers you speak of who is so taken by gelato. I make gelato at home and am very lucky to have a local winery that makes highly excellent gelato.

          Generally speaking, though I am a chocolate lover, I don't usually care for chocolate ice cream. Chocolate gelato is a different story. I don't know how you can be underwhelmed by the intensity of the flavor--that intensity is exactly what draws me to it. I have made my own chocolate and I needed something to go with all that chocolate intensity, so based on the kindness of a fellow hound who posted a recipe, I made peanut butter gelato to go with. Whatever it's lacking for you, I'll gladly eat your bowl...and lick the dish to boot!

          What/where is your local spot for gelato? Mine isn't local (it's just under an hour away), but the winery I mentioned is in CT, north of "casino country" in Lisbon, Heritage Trail.

          1. to the OP... just had a Klondike bar the crunchy kind and it was excellent

            1. Seriously? Maybe it's the types of flavors that I gravitate toward, but I find the flavors in gelato *far* more intense than ice cream. Strawberry ice cream (unless it's homemade and I made it a few minutes ago) I won't even touch. Intense, berry deliciousness gelato....swoon!

              I do enjoy most Ben and Jerry's flavors, but that's because their flavors are more intense than most ice creams. (I seem to remember something about either Ben or Jerry not having a very good sense of smell, so creating the amped-up flavors to appeal to him?)

              I do like ice cream, but offer me one or the other, and I'll always choose gelato.

              3 Replies
              1. re: modthyrth

                I think your last sentence sums up my feelings.

                Given that, however, I've had the pleasure of having three scoops of ice cream at the Berthillon ice cream shop on Ile St-Louis in Paris. I know one of my scoops was chocolate and one was honeydew. Dear lord was that good.

                1. re: Bob W

                  Hmm, everything I've had in Germany and Austria were spectacular and far more flavorful than the American varieties I've had. Kiwi, apricot, melon...all divine. Maybe it's not gelato that I like, but rather the European preferred flavor profile for ice cream type confections.

                  In any case, the way I identify that remarkable flavor here in the states is by going to good gelato places.

                  1. re: modthyrth

                    Dairy products are traditionally of much higher quality in those countries (think about the cheeses and butter they produce.) I bet the milk has a higher butterfat content and that the cows are fed better food and live healthier lives than our cows. Good food is always about good ingredients !

              2. This is obviously about personal preference. Myself, I will always choose gelato over American style icecream. A lot of american icecream is super dense, thereby also tasting richer...for my tastes sometimes this means too rich to want to eat a big serving. Gelato on the otherhand, I could eat bowls of if I didn't watch myself! As for the flavor, I absolutely have found a big difference in intensity. In all fairness I have had some poor gelatos- usually too sweet. But the pistachio gelato I had in Rome when it was 20 degrees outside...that was heaven.

                1. Gelato is more intense in actual flavor, but much less rich to the palate.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Karl S

                    Well said. I was beginning to think part of the problem here was that the definition of intensity could be very personal.

                    The lesson I was taught early on re visiting Italy about whether the gelato at any given shop will be good or not is to look at the banana flavor. If it's bright yellow, move on. If it's sort of more grayish, that's a good sign that the gelato's homemade/not from a mix.

                  2. I think a lot of U.S. shops try to mimic ice cream flavors too much and usually end up with items to avoid. But those same shops also can offer some outstanding flavors once they move beyond the constraints of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

                    Personally, I like the citrus flavors best. But a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream with Fran's chocolate sauce suits me just fine too!

                    1. You aren't getting great gelato, which is generally true of just about everyone who lives in the US. Ice cream is a more 'whipped' product than gelato and has a lot more air in it. Gelato can be much more intense than ice cream for that reason.

                      But maybe even more important than intensity, which is not always the right word, is purity or trueness of flavor. I adore good ice cream, but I have never come close to the gelato flavors of hazelnut, pistachio, or olive oil that I had at Ottho in Manhattan. I once had a magnificent gianduia and also watermelon at the Watkins Glen Dairy Bar in upstate NY. The daughter of the proprietor had just come back from Italy where she learned to make it and she brought back the flavorings.

                      There are several places that are fairly serious about gelato in Washington, DC, where I live, but none of them are better than ok. I feel the same way about the ice cream choices I have here.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Steve

                        The best I've had would be Capogiro in Philadelphia. I appreciate the texture and but still find the taste lacking.