By now you should know how I feel about gelato.
If you don't, well, it is love. No, it is beyond love. It borders on obsession.
But, if you are going to be obsessed about something, you might as well make it gelato.
Ms. Adventures in Italy, who hosts the Tour del Gelato, encourages people to review their favorite gelaterias for all the world to see.
I figured I would join in on the fun!
You see, once you have been to Italy and experienced the real thing, it is really hard to settle for anything less.
And even harder to find anything resembling authentic Italian gelato.
So, when I realized we'd be headed to New York City , I was over the moon about visiting Grom.
Grom is a real Italian gelato company, that opened it's doors in Turin, Italy in 2003. They quickly established a reputation for high-quality, all natural gelato. Classic Italian flavors made with fresh organic ingredients, in season, grown on their own farms in the best areas of Italy.
Many more locations sprouted throughout Italy and in 2007, much to my excitement, a New York City store was added to the list.
New York City now has two. My visit was to the location on Bleecker and Carmine in Greenwich Village.
Normally, there would be a line snaked around the building, but since we visited on a weekday, we lucked out. No lines to speak of.
This sign greeted us upon entering. It is a good thing there was no line. Making a selection with this many choices was going to be a time consuming chore.
Nocciola, Fragola, Pesca, Pistacchio and Melone. Some of my classic favorites.
But then Caffé Espresso and Cioccolato Extranoir were staring me right in the face.
And lookie here…
I am a huge fan of the salt and caramel combination. This just made the choice much harder.
And since this gelato is not exactly cheap, the choice is an all important one.
The glass counter that typically displays the gelato selections like a rainbow of colors is strangely absent from Grom, much to my chagrin.
Instead, more of a modern, streamlined counter is acheived with the use of shiny stainless steel lids hiding the flavors below.
Maybe this keeps the gelato fresher, colder or germ free. Who knows?
We watched others delight in their selections, trying to guess which flavors they were ordering, sneaking peeks under the lids as they were raised, all the while staring intently at the menu, hemming and hawing, trying to choose.
We finally decided to split a large coppetta (cup) for $6.75. In Italy, I remember that you could squeeze as many flavors into a large as you desired. This weighed heavily into our decision to share a large, thinking we would taste an abundance of different flavors.
But, then the Grom server snaps me back to the reality that this is the U.S. and a large cup would only allow us three flavors.
Three measly flavors? Can you believe it?
Somewhat disappointed, we ordered Yogurt, Fragola and the flavor of the month, Caramel.
We grabbed a seat on a bright blue banquette in the area lined with mouth-watering photos of the gelato ingredients and quickly made short work of our gelato.
All of my disappointment quickly subsided as soon as the cold custard hit my lips and the flavors burst forth in my mouth.
All three flavors were delicious. It should come as no surprise though that my favorite would be the Caramel. That is not to say that others weren't great. The Fragola was very ripe and sweet and the Yogurt has just the right amount of tang.
You could really taste the quality of the ingredients.
So even though the location, the lack of obvious gelato display, the exorbitant cost and the three flavor rule were a stark reminder that we were far from Italy; the creamy, pure, natural taste and texture of the gelato transported me in an instant to the country I so love.
And I would have it no other way.
233 Bleeker at Carmine
New York City
Upper West Side
New York City