Sunday, May 29, 2011

Giolitti the Iconic Roman Gelateria

If you like rock hard ice cream as I do, Giolitti is not going to make much of an impression upon your taste buds. Hearing about this establishment for so many years made it impossible to walk by. I just had to try some. Noticing that anyone who had a cono in their hand was unceremoniously driven away from the tables outside, it was my decision to order from the waiter instead of standing in line behind 20 or so school children. This was a costly decision, 22 euros worth for 2 fabrications and a bottle of water. Gelati is soft by nature, but every so often you can find it in a more solid form, certainly more solid than that being served at this venerable, well loved establishment. By the time my gelati arrived it was half melted and much softer than any soft serve ice cream I've ever eaten. What remained semi solid was floating in liquid; I could drink it halfway through.

What makes the reputation of a gelateria? Is it the proprietarial flavors? There were many fruit flavors listed on the menu, but the albicocca I had ordered was unavailable as was the fig. I ended up with the Glace Marrone (chestnut), pistacchio, and a carmelized fig, the most interesting and unusual flavor on the list. All were good but none were amazing. Pistacchio is a good test flavor, since it should have a real nutty taste for quality.

My partner in crime tried a concoction of whipped cream and fruit that satisfied his taste buds. The waiter was good enough to tell him that it had no ice cream included. Personally I think that serving it with vanilla gelati would have made for a better choice.

Much like the hype about San Crespino near the Trevi Fountain, I found the reputation of Giolitti to be as inflated as the air filled gelati they were serving.

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