Top Pick Of The Week

April 17, 2012



Banana chocolate swirl gelato in a Champagne coupe (which should never be used for Champagne —it lets all the bubbles escape). Photo © Nikola Bilic | Dreamstime.

WHAT IT IS: Premium gelato made with artisan techniques, in 17 flavors, plus 5 sorbetti.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Superb quality at an affordable price.
WHY WE LOVE IT: So flavorful, so many great flavors, such a wonderful treat.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Check out the store locator at Or tell your local store manager that he/she is missing out on a great thing.

Talenti Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Gelato

Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip (actually chipped chocolate) is heaven in a pint. The Tahitian Vanilla, below, gets our nod for best vanilla ice cream on the market. Photos courtesy Talenti Gelato.
Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato


Talenti Gelato: Our Favorite Gelato Expands Its Flavors

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For our money, Talenti is the best brand of ice cream or gelato you can buy for under $5.00 a pint. The quality is superb, the flavors intoxicating.

In our original review last summer, Talenti had 12 flavors of gelato plus sorbetti. Now the family has expanded to 19 flavors, including three sorbetti plus five elegant new gelato flavors.

The new flavors are everything we’d ask for (how did they know what we like!).

And they’re just in time for Mother’s Day. Instead of following a big meal with a heavy dessert, there’s always room for luscious Talenti gelato. It’s a treat we can enjoy—and at $4.99 a pint, afford—365 days a year. When we’re on a bender, $10 pints of Capogiro and Il Laboratorio gelati really goose up the food bill.


5 New Gelato Flavors

Three of the new flavors have chipped chocolate—not chocolate chips. It’s a welcome difference. Chips, even small ones, freeze into hard lumps, suppressing the chocolate flavor and creating a not-always-pleasant texture. (That’s why you should avoid the temptation to throw jumbo chips into your homemade ice cream. It may sound like a good idea; it isn’t.)

Each of the flavors is as good as it sounds. We were heartbroken to finish the final spoonfuls of each pint, not knowing if we’d find them on the shelves of our small New York City markets (you can order them online if you’re down with the overnight shipping and higher markup). But oh-so-happy memories linger, of:

  • Banana Chocolate Swirl Gelato: There isn’t much banana ice cream where we live, so we have an extra reason to love this flavor. With a dulce de leche swirl and bits of bittersweet chocolate, it raises the bar for banana ice cream.

  • Black Raspberry Chocolate Gelato: This flavor is so magical, you wonder why it isn’t made by more ice cream producers. The luscious Oregon raspberries are harmoniously wed to the chocolate flecks. It couldn’t be more delicious, and can be the finale to a fine dinner. Even if raspberry ice cream doesn’t tempt you, you must try it.

  • Chocolate Chip (Stracciatella) Gelato: Stracciatella (strah-CHYAH-tell-uh) is an Italian word that refers to both a broth with Parmesan and shreds* of cooked egg (it’s the Italian version of chicken egg drop soup) and ice cream. The chocolate shreds are also mixed into Talenti’s superb Tahitian Vanilla ice cream, perhaps the best vanilla ice cream on the market.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato: We’ve never had peanut butter ice cream as memorable as this. Chopped miniature chocolate peanut butter cups and an organic peanut butter swirl are added to elegant chocolate peanut butter ice cream. The swirl has a wee bit of saltiness, another layer of excitement. There’s also a delightful hint of malt. What PB cup lover could ask for anything more?
  • Simply Strawberry Gelato: While a lovely gelato made with quality fresh strawberries, this was the one flavor we’d adjust. It’s more of a strawberries-and-cream flavor, rather than intense strawberry. Most certainly, many people will love it; because the strawberry flavor is less bold, it works well as an à la mode alternative to vanilla.


The article continues below, with gelato trivia.


*The verb stracciare means to shred.


More Gelato To Enjoy

Making Artisan Gelato   The Ciao Bella book Of Gelato   Gelato! By Pamela Johns

Making Artisan Gelato: 45 Recipes and Techniques for Crafting Flavor-Infused Gelato and Sorbet at Home, by Torrance Kopfer. A great start, including the history of gelato. More information.


The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home, by F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin. From the owners of one of America’s top gelato brands. More information.


Gelato!: Italian Ice Creams, Sorbetti, and Granita, by
Pamela Sheldon Johns. A focus on integrating gelato with traditional cookies and other treats from a prominent, Tuscany-based cookbook author. More information.


This is Page 1 of a one-page review. Click on the black links to visit other articles:


What Does Talenti Mean?

In classic Latin, talenta, the plural of talentum, initially referred to a unit of weight or a unit of currency. By the Middle Ages, as a result of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), a sense of aptitude developed as well.

Bernardo Buontalenti, born about 1531, had a good aptitude,† as his name suggests. Actually, it was a great aptitude.

An architect and impresario, Talenti was responsible for putting on memorable dinners and events for the Medicis. He is credited with inventing gelato for one special dinner that included foreign dignitaries as well as the Medici court.

His first effort was to freeze zabaglione—a custard of egg yolks, cream, sugar and moscato d’asti—with fruit. The rest is history.

It is for him that Talenti Gelato is named.


— Karen Hochman


Delicioso! Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.


ICE CREAM TRIVIA: The predecessor of ice cream was snow flavored with syrup. It was created for the Chinese elite, some 4,000 years ago. Next, the Chinese developed snow flavored with fruit See the history of ice cream.

The word gelato derives from the Italian verb gelare, to freeze. Modern gelato traces its origin to the court of the Medicis. A legend—there is no evidence to support it—says that a chicken farmer named Guiseppe Ruggieri submitted the recipe for sorbetto to a Medici cooking contest. Catherine di Medici—a young teenager—was so enamored of the frozen sweet that she took Ruggieri to France with her in 1533 or 1534, when she married Henri, Duc d’Orleans, the future King Henri II of France. She introduced sorbetto—called sorbet—to the French court.

Some 20 years later, Bernardo Buontalenti froze cream, egg yolks and sugar—the recipe for what is now known as French ice cream—to create gelato, modern ice cream.

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