Wednesday, November 13, 2019
My favorite gelato
In my endless quest to understand, evaluate, and eat the gelato of Italy I generally avoid ever ordering any flavor of chocolate. One can probably manage to tell the difference between good and bad gelato through the flavor of chocolate, but one is unlikely to be able to discern between the various levels of good gelato with the flavor of chocolate.
It's too easy. Chocolate tastes like chocolate. It is not a flavor to be delicately coaxed out and balanced in the general recipe of great gelato. It is pretty hard to mess up a chocolate gelato.
So I don't order chocolate.
Except, of course, I did, just once on this trip.
I ordered chocolate once only, at Fatamorgana, in Rome. The thing was, I wasn't working. I wasn't studying. I wasn't comparing.
I was just there admiring.
I wasn't searching out the best gelateria. I'd already found it. They were it.
I was eating gelato for pleasure.
So I got their chocolate.
Only, it was the great Fatamorgana, brightest star in the Italian firmament of gelato. So it wasn't chocolate, it was Lapsang Souchong Chocolate.
Of the roughly 45 gelato flavors and varieties I had in Italy over two weeks, it was the single best one.
Chocolate, not too sweet, a nod to the bitter, then the smokey coming through like a stroke of inspired genius, and finally the bare hint of black tea underneath.
I'm sorry, I can't go on anymore. I'm getting a bit... emotional.