Thursday, November 03, 2016

Talenti Gelato

Some people live by "an apple a day".  I tend to live by "a bowl or cone of something frozen a day".  By which I mean, I really do tend to have ice cream, frozen yogurt, or some other frozen treat nearly every day.  The fact that I work somewhere with a froyo machine helps of course, as does my very stocked freezer.

Gelato though is not something I have often, since usually you want gelato super fresh, and there just aren't that many gelato shops around (although, if you ever wind up in Hanover, NH, I have a shockingly good gelato recommendation!).  I didn't expect to find good packaged gelato, but I remember the first time I tried Talenti Gelato at a friend's house, and I was quite surprised, particularly when I learned that it isn't a local, artisinal, etc gelato.

No, Talenti is a large production, grocery store standard brand, although one made with quality ingredients - they use real Tahitian vanilla bean, Callebaut Belgian Chocolate, and even make their mint gelato green using alfalfa sprout extract.

I also love the packaging, in plastic, clear pints, which I love to save and reuse for other purposes.  I don't really understand the standard of cardboard pints that don't seal as well.

Talenti makes a slew of flavors of gelato, plus sorbettos, and novelties on sticks (dubbed "Pops").  I've never tried the sorbettos or pops, but I've had my share of the gelato, and always found it quite good, particularly for a grocery store item.
Sicilian Pistachio.
"Talenti makes this gelato classic with whole, fresh roasted pistachio nuggets and homemade pistachio butter, lightly blended together with fresh gelato to create this all-natural flavor."

I don't normally like pistachio.  I'm not sure why.  Not just in ice cream, it just isn't a flavor I go for in anything.  Yet ... I love this pistachio gelato, and it was the first Talenti flavor I ever tried.

Why would I try it, if I don't like pistachio?  Well, that is easy.  I was at an ice cream party, and there were a slew of flavors to try.  I tried just a tiny bite of this, and it ended up being my favorite thing of the night.  Who knew?

So, when I saw it at the store a few months later, I bought a pint myself.

I again liked the flavor, but not quite as much as I did in my memory.  Still better than any other encounter I've had with pistachio, but, it wasn't quite as magical as at the ice cream party.  I did appreciate the crunch from the little bits of pistachio in it, and the creaminess of the base.
Caramel Cookie Crunch.
"Crunchy chocolate cookies are combined with Talenti’s Dulce de Leche and blended in just as the gelato is being hand filled into the jars, transforming standard cookies and cream into a luxurious treat."

I am generally all about toppings, and sundaes, so I appreciate ice cream (and gelato) flavors that come with all the mix-ins, for times when I'm lazy or just not well stocked on my own.  This flavor did have some decent mix-ins.

First was a swirl of caramel, or, I guess dulce de leche, that was sweet, gooey, and satisfying.  Next, bits of cookie added crunch, and were well distributed throughout (and for chocolate cookie bits, they were pretty good).  I would have preferred something like nuts, or cookie dough, not just crunchy cookies, but still, good.

Overall, this was fine, but not particularly memorable, or worth getting another pint of.
Caramel Apple Pie.
"Bits of flaky piecrust and apple pieces are blended into our one-of-a-kind cinnamon gelato. We lovingly kissed it with a caramel swirl and–bam!–put America into a pint."

This was very good gelato.

The base gelato was rich, creamy, and airy, and tasted more like fresh gelato than any packaged variety I've ever had.  It had a good cinnamon flavor, not too strong, but definitely such that you knew it was a cinnamon base.

And then, the mix-ins.  I loved the swirls of sweet caramel, they complimented the cinnamon base very well.  The chunks of pie crust were interesting.  I do love pie and ice cream, and the chunks were plentiful and well distributed.  But ... pie crust inside ice cream does get a bit soggy, so it suffered in similar ways to some of the Ben & Jerry's flavors I've had, like the waffle cone in Americone Dream or potato chips in Late Name Snack.

Overall though, a very complete flavor, and I was happy to eat it as is, no need for additional toppings.  It went beautifully with a warm cinnamon roll too!
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