I’ve written many times about my unabashed love for ice cream. My goal in Italy was to eat Gelato twice a day and I’m proud to share that I came damn close to achieving that goal. Truth be told, if it weren’t for my sprained ankle and some cold and rainy days, I know I would have exceeded it.
The benefit of eating all that gelato is that I have been able to identify my personal five favourite gelato flavours should you ever find yourself in Italy. Whenever possible, I’ve also included locations, though I admit I rarely made note of locations so I had to rely heavily on Google combined with my poor memory.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with running or training, the answer is absolutely nothing. However, I know that I’m not the only one out there who exercises and/or trains mostly to allow for the not-so-occasional indulgence in treats, so let this be your motivation to workout more…and then to go to Italy to undo all the good your workout’s done with copious amounts of gelato!
#5. Crema Vernazza (Gelateria Vernazza): A perfectly crafted blend of berry swirl and white chocolate in a vibrant yellow custard base. It looked appallingly yellow, but was astoundingly delicious.
#4. Bisca Rata (Gelateria Dandoli, San Gimignano): This blew my mind. To be honest, I can’t even tell you what was in it and I’m quite certain I spelled it wrong and/or got the entire name wrong. What I do know is that it had crumbled biscuits in it, pumpkin seeds, and a divine swirl for which I couldn’t quite put my finger on the flavour but which was heaven in a swirl. I took a chance on this flavour as it is not my norm, but it kickstarted my effort to try as many new flavours as possible (resulting in other honarable mentions that didn’t make this list but were phenomenal, such as amerena and peach crostato to name just a couple).
#3. Fig & Ricotta (Gelateria Vernazza): Imagine the most perfect of not-overly-sweet cheesecake ice creams with a rich ribbon of ultra sweet fig swirl. Perfectly balanced. Even writing about this is making me hungry…
#2. Crema Cinque Terre (Gelateria Vernazza): Oh. my. word. Though this didn’t make the number one slot, it is the most palatable for the average person (you’ll see what I mean when you read below) and a better everyday gelato choice. It was rich. It was indulgent. It had a ribbon of chocolate that bordered on obscene in it’s size, and which provided the perfect textural contrast to the brilliant yellow base. It had hazelnuts, which are the best and only suitable nut for ice creams, in my opinion. It was perfection.
#1. Zenzero or Ginger (Frigidarium, Rome): My first caveat is that I am only 60% sure this is actually the name of the gelateria. I did some serious post-vacation detective work (i.e. Googling), based on our walking path from Castelo Saint Angelo. The Google street view looked sort of similar, but in reality all gelaterias kind of look the same. At any rate, the flavour is what’s important. This is not for the faint of heart, or the casual ginger admirer. This is for passionate ginger lovers, the kind of people who thrive on the burning heat of fresh ginger and who want their ice cream to make them feel like their mouth is on fire. In other words, people like me. It will be a small handful of people who would appreciate this flavour, but for those who love ginger like I do, who feel that every supposedly ginger-flavoured product out there lacks the true spicy intensity of real ginger, who order triple the ginger at the Whole Foods juice bar and still find it too weak, for those people this will be your world. Get on a plane. Find this place. Order this gelato. It is so perfectly and insanely intense in its ginger-ness that the girl I ordered from warned me twice, in very broken English, that it was very hot. She was right, and I was in heaven.
So there you have it, a post with no connection to running, ultra marathons, workouts or anything of the sort but, let’s be honest, posts about gelato are infinitely better. Go forth, run for those who can’t (i.e. me) and get yourself some gelato.