Saturday, 14 November 2015

When in Rome, Do As the Gelato Obsessed Idiots Do

After checking out Pompeii for the second time (see why you should here), we spent a few days in Rome to see off our beloved travelling companion Fabienne and because it's Rome!
We had grand plans to visit many different eateries, but what we mainly filled up on was gelato. "Should we get some pizza? Hmmm...maybe we should just get two lots of gelato instead." Such was our thinking. 
Our first stop was Grom, the gelateria that will always be in my heart for the magical memories of "come una volta" goodness from my 2013 Europe roadtrip. After visiting many other gelaterias, I now realise that (in the words of an artisanal gelato maker) Grom is one of the more industrialised around. But that doesn't stop me loving it! Almost every flavour is bursting with flavour! (Trust me, after spending a while in Italy I have tried every flavour.) And that Sicilian granita...don't get me started on the joys of plunging your spoon into that ice cold, slushy zingy lemony granita on a hot Italian summer day. 
We also had to try Giolitti, which is super famous and you have to jostle your way up to the counter. Once there, you're dumbstruck! The range of flavours is unbelievable. Can they produce so many flavours, and do them well? We tried:
Dark chocolate - comparable to other gelaterias.
White chocolate - disappointing as it didn't taste like white chocolate at all.
Cinnamon - again, about average.
Prickly pear - definitely odd, but fruity in a kind of mellony/herby way.
Rice pudding - quite nice in a way that might grow on you and become your favourite flavour. Maybe. 
A bit more out of the way, Alberto Pica boasted some unusual flavours that caught our eye. But as we were so full from eating Grom not long before, we sat at one of the tables to give our stomachs digesting time. While we were waiting, an elderly women sat down at the table next to us for a coffee break and promptly began cracking jokes with us and the waiters. I'm still not sure if she realised we didn't speak Italian, as I smiled at her whenever she cackled to herself. The waiter was an odd one too, singing what may have been jingle bells with the words "jingom beh, jingom beh". It was quite an experience. We tried:
Pine nut - different from the typical hazelnut option, but not necessarily better at Alberto than elsewhere.
Wild strawberry - delicious! Go, strawberry, run wild and free!
Rose - unexpectedly I loved it, but it did remind me a little bit of eating potpourri.
In the hopping neighbourhood of Trastevere, where Fabienne lived while on her archaeological dig, we got back to basics at Fior di Luna. We tried chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, coffee and crema. I can't give a run down of each flavour because nothing really stood out to me, except that I hated the coffee because it was too bitter, but Yannick loved it. It was a nice gelateria, and not much more. Maybe we should try the more out-there flavours next time. 
I've saved the best for last. Can you tell by my face?! Good ol' San Crispino. We were blown away by their rum chocolate on our last trip, and this time we were blasted into the stratosphere! They were trying out this new thing where they add meringue to gelato. It sounds weird but, well, let's get to the flavour list! I'm so excited! We tried:
Apple sorbet - I started with this one because it wasn't that great. Fine, but not great. 
Honey - honey in gelato? Si. And it works! It's a mild flavour, but boy is it moreish. (As it's mild, it works best in combination with other more mild flavours otherwise your palette will get overloaded.)
Ginger and cinnamon - maybe I am a cinnamon fiend, but I absolutely loved this flavour when my other party members weren't as keen.
Rum chocolate - we had to get it again, and it was just as we remembered! 
Chocolate meringue - kind of mediocre and not very chocolatey.
Caramel meringue - what?! What is this? Is this light, fluffy meringuey caramely gelato in my mouth? How can this be so good? But it was that good, and we got seconds. 

What's your favourite gelateria in Rome? Let me know in the comments!