Not so long ago, gelato and sorbetto were a new concept to Americans. Now, it seems, everybody is making both. As usually happens in such a case, some producers are turning out frozen creations that barely qualify as mediocre, but I’m not going to talk to you about them. Instead, I’ll tell you about a manufacturer producing some very fine examples of these treats: Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto.
And what, you ask, is so great about these desserts? For a start, big flavors that really taste like the name of the product. The Roman Raspberry Sorbetto is obviously made from real fruit, just the way it should be. That holds true for the tart Blood Orange flavor, as well. If gelato is more your speed, try the terrific Caribbean Coconut or Belgium Milk Chocolate (yeah, I know; it should be “Belgian”, but this is how they spell it). Incidentally, it’s very difficult to make a good milk chocolate frozen dessert, because it’s hard to get the subtle milk chocolate taste to come through. But Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto has managed to do so handily. I can also recommend the Ducle de Leche and Black Cherry Gelati, and the Sonoma Strawberry Sorbetto.
There’s also the matter of texture. Some cheap American ice creams, with a high percentage of air (called “overrun”) pumped into the base, have a fluffy, sticky texture. Traditionally-made gelato and sorbetto, such as these, contain far less air, allowing for a dense-textured product with a creamy mouthfeel, despite the fact that gelato is usually made with very little, if any cream.
But there’s even more to like about Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto. The milk for the gelati varieties contains no growth hormones. The nuts used in some flavors are roasted and caramelized by the company, not by some supplier; this means that the company has more control over the end product (being a control freak in food manufacturing isn’t always a bad thing!). The company even makes their own nut pastes. Further, their products are gluten free (except for the Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato), and certified kosher. They will not use high fructose corn syrup, and the gelati have significantly less fat than ice cream (the sorbetti are, of course, fat-free). And have I mentioned that most of the varieties I’ve tried are delicious?
Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto continues to expand their flavor roster (I can tell that I need to try that Sea Salt Caramel soon). These products are fairly well-distributed across the U.S. now, but if you can’t find them locally, you can order online. Mangia!