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looking for "chewy" gelato

greengelato Aug 15, 2011 09:42 AM

i'm looking for gelato with a "chewy" texture. by chewy, i mean gelato that is almost taffy-like when you scoop it out, but not necessarily because it's melting. i've tried bulgarini, al gelato, piccomolo, gelato bar, pazzo, and a few cheap imitation places but haven't found what i'm looking for. maybe it doesn't exist in LA?

  1. c
    chez cherie Jun 21, 2012 11:17 PM

    you might want to try mashti malone. if i recall corrrectly, they use an ingredient called mastic, which is a natural resin, which gives that texture. good luck and please report back?

    4 Replies
    1. re: chez cherie
      lapizzamaven Jun 24, 2012 10:14 PM

      agree w/chez cherie...Mashti Malone and other Persian ice creamerias like the one(memory is silent) on Westwood south of Wilshire are thick like those gelatos i liked...

      1. re: lapizzamaven
        PayOrPlay Jun 25, 2012 10:26 AM

        As noted above, the place south of Wilshire is Saffron and Rose. 1387 Westwood Blvd. This is a great place: the flavor choices there go way beyond the traditional choices, and he's often coming up with something new--last time I was there, he had cherry/cactus flavor, which was very soft but stunning in flavor. Over time, this has become one of the best ice cream shops in L.A.

        There's also more traditional (albeit less spectacular) Persian ice cream at Super Sun Market (formerly Rose Market), 1922 Westwood, and

        1. re: PayOrPlay
          lapizzamaven Jun 25, 2012 01:58 PM

          Yeah, thats the name, Saffron & Rose on westwood...excellent ice cream...thick and they do offer unusual and tasty flavors..orange pistachio has been my go to...

          1. re: PayOrPlay
            J.L. Jun 25, 2012 04:37 PM

            This place is a regular stop on my ice cream rotation. They have great versions of bastani with golub (rosewater) and faloodeh also. The cucumber ice cream here is fantastic as well.

      2. l
        lapizzamaven Jun 21, 2012 06:15 PM

        Greengelato...I've had the "chewy," almost taffy like gelato in SF at a place in North Beach(Green St) and on near Stanyan in the Haight and love it...both places are still in biz...Ive not encountered that gelato iteration here in LA...never had gelato in Italy and not sure if the chewier style or the airer still is more traditional...Actually, Id been curious about Bulgarini for years but never had the chance to try it till today, as theyve opened a branch in Culver City...very tasty but not what I'd consider my preferred gelato...not to mention adults have to buy a $7 serving of 3 small scoops...kids can get a 2 scoop for $5...thats ridiculously expensive...actually overpriced...if it were really great id pay the $$$ but this was emphatically not! I didnt see a specific age limit posted just "kids." wonder if i could get a tween to go in and buy my gelato there...Psst, hey little girl, heres $5 ...get me the cioc/narancia and pistachio...but if people pay it, more power to Mr Bulgarini...

        1 Reply
        1. re: lapizzamaven
          FED Jun 22, 2012 09:38 AM

          about the most italian gelato i've had in socal is at the unfortunately named Eatalian in Gardena. It's got that pure "chewy" texture (i think that comes from not pumping in as much air as american ice cream has).

        2. Mr Taster Aug 21, 2011 12:31 AM

          This thread put my in mind to visit Bulgarini after a year+ absence.

          My friend and I tried six different flavors. The "chewy" texture was present in some, and not so much in others.

          Tops for chewiness was the dark chocolate (we did not try the sea salt chocolate). Its texture was such that it was almost like eating a dense frozen fudge brownie. Fantastic. Second place was pistachio, which also had a toothsome Q though not as intense as the dark chocolate.

          Other flavors-- vanilla and peach-- had very little chewiness, but were quite nice. The peach was intensely flavored, as was the red plum gelato.

          So the bottom line here is to revisit Bulgarini, but be selective about the flavors you choose. You will find what you seek.

          Mr Taster

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Taster
            Mr Taster May 17, 2012 04:21 PM

            Just tried al gelato for the first time last night. We tried the pistachio and coconut flavors. Both were very thin on the taffy-like chew. It was present, but minimally so.

            Bulgarini still stands out for me as the one to beat. Haven't tried Grom.

            Mr Taster

          2. b
            bad nono Aug 16, 2011 10:57 PM

            I have no idea what you are exactly looking for, and I haven't tried Grom in Malibu myself, but I thought I should throw the name around, just in case. Good luck!

            1. Joe Blowe Aug 16, 2011 03:42 PM

              I know what you're looking for, and I agree with you that it might just not exist in L.A.

              Someone here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you want a cornstarch-thickened Sicilian-style gelato. Gelati from the North use eggs as a thickener and are usually higher in butterfat (the way it's also made in the U.S.), so that's why you're not finding what you're looking for.

              When I make low-fat milk gelato at home using cornstarch as a thickener, I get that taffy-like pull when scooping out of the bowl...

              1. ipsedixit Aug 15, 2011 08:07 PM

                Cold Stone Creamery?

                1. Mr. Roboto Aug 15, 2011 07:45 PM

                  This sounds like Turkish Ice Cream (dondurma). The real chewy one is "maraş dondurması," they use salep flour (ground from the roots of a wild orchid) as one of the ingredients.



                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Mr. Roboto
                    greengelato Aug 15, 2011 08:21 PM

                    Oh wow, that is SUPER taffy-like! I've actually had ice cream in Turkey, but don't remember it being like that.

                    Perhaps the gelato I'm describing only exists in Italy, which is where I've had it. Maybe they use unpasteurized milk or some other exotic substance that is illegal here in the states.

                    1. re: Mr. Roboto
                      PayOrPlay Jun 1, 2012 02:22 PM

                      A year late on this (and sent here by this thread's inclusion in a recent Chow newsletter), I am posting to note than while there may not be much Turkish ice cream around Los Angeles, there is plenty of Persian ice cream with that stretchy/chewy quality. A nice variety of flavors can be had at Saffron & Rose on Westwood Blvd. (my faves: date, cucumber), and of course at Mashti Malone's in Hollywood.

                      1. re: Mr. Roboto
                        poggibonzzi Jun 23, 2012 11:51 PM

                        Or Syrian Bakdash ice cream :-)

                      2. a
                        aizan Aug 15, 2011 04:44 PM

                        i've never had gelato as you've described it, but half the time i go to handel's it's sort of chewy. i figure it depends on the temperature.

                        Handel's Ice Cream
                        1882 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                        1. Mr Taster Aug 15, 2011 12:53 PM

                          Sounds like someone heard Mario Batali on The Splendid Table this weekend :)

                          Since he's the one who described this taffy-like gelato, why not check out what Mozza has on offer?

                          Mr Taster

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Mr Taster
                            greengelato Aug 15, 2011 01:46 PM

                            I actually didn't hear that episode nor have I heard anyone use taffy to describe gelato. I've had mozza's gelato and like it, but it was too melty for me.

                            1. re: greengelato
                              Mr Taster Aug 15, 2011 02:00 PM


                              Mario describing gelato as having "an almost taffy pull to it" at approx 3:40.

                              It's surprising that he wouldn't be meticulous about recreating that experience at his LA restaurant.

                              Mr Taster

                          2. matikin9 Aug 15, 2011 09:51 AM

                            Have you tried the gelato they serve at Spitz?

                            2506 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                            Spitz: Home of the Doner Kebab
                            371 E 2nd St # D, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: matikin9
                              TonyC Aug 15, 2011 10:45 AM

                              perhaps not gelato, but LA Creamery has super fluffy and over churned ice cream. It is chewy, kinda like frozen whip cream. Not my dig at all, but if you're looking...

                              They have several branches.

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