Pistachio gelato taste-off

May 9th, 2011 by Dawn

I was gleeful when I found out this weekend that my favorite gelato is now available in my neighborhood (Ravenna), at Casa d’Italia. And this reminded me that I neglected to tell you the results of our pistachio gelato taste-off.

Gelato taste-off
Clockwise from top-left: Bottega Italiana, D’Ambrosio, Fainting Goat, vanilla gelato from Gelatiamo (we were unable to obtain pistachio from them this weekend, so didn’t rank this one), and Talenti.

After we’d stuffed ourselves with bánh mì at our January taste-off, we moved on to gelato. For an even playing field, we stuck with just one flavor, pistachio. With the same set of judges and ranking method as our sandwich taste-off, and only four gelati (hm – gelati, gelatos, gelatoes – nothing looks correct in an English sentence…), the best possible score was 9 and the worst was 36.

Talenti 4th place: This high-end grocery store gelato was a bright, almost fake green sitting next to the others. Talenti gelato tasted a bit artificial, too, and the texture was icy. While it had the biggest chunks of pistachio of the bunch, which initially seemed like an advantage, the nuts were soft and mealy. More than half ranked this at the bottom, giving it an overall score of 30.
Bottega Italiana 3rd place: Bottega Italiana’s gelato was creamy in texture but sweeter than our ultimate favorite. The primary complaint here was that it doesn’t taste much like pistachio. Instead, it’s more like brown sugar in flavor and color. Yummy, but pistachio should taste like pistachio. Score: 26.
Bottega Italiana on Urbanspoon
Fainting Goat Gelato 2nd place: It was basically a toss-up between the middle two gelati, with Fainting Goat Gelato garnering just one point more than our 3rd place choice. Fainting Goat’s version was not nutty and not particularly distinct, and some felt they’d be hard-pressed to identify it as pistachio in a line-up.
Fainting Goat Gelato on Urbanspoon
D'Ambrosio Gelato 1st place: The title of D’Ambrosio Gelato’s web site says “Seattle’s Best Italian Gelato” and we agree. Unanimously. It’s a rare occasion when nine of us agree on a winner (9 points!), so we can definitively say this is the best of the bunch we tried. Intense nutty pistachio flavor, with a great texture and tiny pieces of nuts throughout. Some detected a hint of salt that enhanced the flavor of the pistachio. I personally would recommend any of the flavors at D’Ambrosio and highly recommend a trip over to Ballard (or Casa d’Italia!) for a sampling.
D'Ambrosio Gelato on Urbanspoon

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