Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pitango Gelato

As our trip to Italy draws near, we're preparing by brushing up on our Roman history, watching (bad) movies set in Italy, and preparing our gelato tastebuds. I want to make sure I'm in prime gelato-tasting form when I arrive in Italy. As a training run, we went to Pitango Gelato in Penn Quarter.

Pitango is a local group of 5 stores dishing up gelato made with the highest quality ingredients. Their inventive flavors run the gamut from Spicy Chocolate to Cardamom. Intrigued by a flavor but afraid to order it? The friendly Pitango folks will let you try a few samples. Just don't be that person who asks to try lots of flavors then doesn't order gelato. You know who you are!

B and I shared a cup of Gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) and Pistachio. No freaky bright green food coloring or artificial flavors here. Just real food blended into creamy perfection. One regular size gelato (two flavors) was plenty for B and I to share. This stuff is rich and the little tiny spoons help you slow down and savor each bite.

I look forward to my scientific analysis of Italian gelato to see how it stacks up to our own local favorite.

Second Thoughts From B

Anyone who knows me knows that I lived/studied in Rome for a summer while in college. To say that I loved my experience and love telling and retelling stories about that trip would be an understatement. And my poor wife - who has never been to Italy - has endured the "When I was in Rome..." lead-in for way too long.

So taking what we learned from our weekender in Paris last winter, we've planned another low-season trip to Europe. Sure it might be a little chilly but the crowds will be minimal and the prices are great. That sounds like a good trade-off when we're in the land of museums and churches. After all, the Sistine Chapel looks the same every month of the year.

I do wonder, however, how this will affect our relationship with gelato. When you're in the Roman oven that is July and August (and have the metabolism of a 21 year old), a run for a cup of delicious frozen relief happens multiple times a day. When it is 45 and raining? I don't know... but I look forward to figuring it out.

My memories of gelato are sweetened by memories of a life-changing experience. Pitango cannot possibly compete with that. But based solely on the gelato, I think it holds its own. The selection is robust (I tend to like the fruit/tart flavors while J likes the richer ones), and the quality and freshness is clear. It might not be my favorite shop off the Piazza di Montecitorio, but for the next couple of weeks, it'll have to do.
Pitango Gelato on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

foodobsessed said...

I just got back from Italy and invite you to view my posts

Have a wonderful time. I agree that it's great to travel this time of year.