DAY 26: A Whole Gelato' Pumpkin

After 25 days, I feel like I have developed pumpkin Stockholm Syndrome. I already have pretty bad pumpkin fatigue, but I can’t seem to stop myself from purchasing new/unique pumpkin products whenever I get the chance. Even if I’m at a restaurant/store for something specific (like I was tonight), I will change my order to a pumpkin item if I haven’t tried it before.

So I went out for tea tonight and noticed that the shop had pumpkin gelato, I felt like I HAD to order it. I guess this is my life now.

DAY 26: A Whole Gelato' Pumpkin

I apologize in advance to my Italian readers for what I’m about to say. Before tonight, I didn’t know the difference between ice cream and gelato. Previously, I (incorrectly) assumed that they were interchangeable terms. It turns out I was very wrong, and that there are a few major differences that make gelato so unique.

The first is in the base. While ice cream clocks in at about 10% fat, gelato has less, between 5-7% because it calls for a greater proportion of whole milk in the base (instead of cream). While the actual percentage can vary by manufacturer, there is one serious ground rule. By Italian law, gelato must have at least 3.5% butterfat. You’ve been warned!

The second difference is in production. Gelato is churned slowly, allowing less air into the mixture. This results in a denser dessert, but with a much more intense flavor from whatever you add to it.

Finally, Gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream, so it’s not hard packed.

While waiting for my tea order to come out, I wandered to the gelato freezer and noticed an orange-colored tub. I thought it might be pumpkin spice, but I wasn’t sure. At that point I could have called it a day and just enjoyed my tea, but I couldn’t help myself. After confirming, I ordered one serving to stay. I was a little unsure about how the taste would translate, so I ordered a scoop of green tea gelato as a safety flavor. (more on that later)
The gelato had a nice brown-orange color to it, which reminded me a lot of the blended pumpkin I worked with last weekend. I also noticed what appeared to be specks of spices throughout the surface of the scoop. Both of these features were really encouraging, and led me to believe that they used both real pumpkin and spices in production.

At first bite, the pumpkin flavor is so wonderful and full. The spices were there, but the pumpkin was the star. It was a (metaphorically) warm and rich flavor, tasting just like the filling to a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. The spices were balanced, and you could pick out each (the clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg) in the bite. They supported the taste well, and hit only after the pumpkin flavor subsided. I really liked the flavor profile of this gelato. It is spot-on, and shows the benefit of using real ingredients instead of flavorings.

But all of this goodwill was undone because of texture. This gelato was freezer burned and grainy. Although the flavors were great, it felt like I was eating cold pumpkin spice sand. The green tea was worse. Even though I liked the flavors, I had to stop half-way. It was gross.

While this was a disappointing experience, I’m going to leave the door open to pumpkin spice ice cream/gelato. The taste here showed PS’s potential as a flavor, but the execution was poor.

In case you were wondering, the tea was bad too.

Final Rating: 1 /5 Pumpkins (the lone pumpkin was for the great taste)




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