October 29, 2008

ciao, mi amor!

Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen has single-handedly broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to a better world.


A world with gelato.

A while back, Elle ran a little contest in order to give away some samples of Ciao Bella gelato and sorbetto. I confessed to her that I had never tried gelato, and she took pity on me and chose me as one of the winners.


I received a massive box of goodies from Ciao Bella. Aside from the edibles, which I'll describe shortly, I got a shirt, a bag, a magnet, a pin, and some coupons. Talk about a haul!


I'll start with the sorbets, which I've had before. (See, I'm not a total cavewoman.) The blood orange was magnificent--tart, but not too tart, and really quite wonderful in a glass of ginger ale.


The Blackberry Cabernet sorbet (which rolls off the tongue quite nicely, wouldn't you say?) would've been terrific if I liked the taste of wine, but alas, I just don't. It sure was purty though.


On to the gelato! Folks, I've been missing out. It's truthfully just as good as, if not better than, ice cream. The Key Lime Graham Cracker was pucker-your-lips sour (and I mean that in a good way). I love the texture that graham cracker crumbs provide--they're my favorite mix-in at places like Cold Stone Creamery and Maggie Moo's. My second thought (after "Ooooo-weee!") was that this would be good with some blueberry pie.


I've gone and saved the best for last. May I present to you the Maple Ginger Snap gelato:


It could also be known as Heaven on Earth. The maple flavor was just right, and the little cookies were a nice surprise--a break in texture in the ultra-smooth and creamy gelato. It reminded me of one of my favorite ice creams--Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk* (drool).

*In looking for a link to this delightful concoction, I discovered that it's no longer commercially available. My day was ruined...until I saw that they've created something with the potential to be even better--Coconut Seven Layer Bar (coconut ice cream with coconut and fudge flakes, walnuts and swirls of graham cracker and butterscotch)!


But I digress. I'm here to talk about gelato, ice cream's better-looking first cousin. I heartily and sincerely thank you, Elle, for improving my life. :)

Side note: We got our first snow last night. Accumulating snow in October just seems wrong.
Side note: To instantly fill your cuteness quota for the day,
check this out.

53 comments:

Prudy said...

I'm pea green with envy. Especially over the maple and ginger flavor. The only thing that is cheering me up at all is that I'll really be in Italy next week so I'll try to get my own. Maple Ginger Snap! I don't think I'll be able to get it out of my head.

Lori said...

I personally will take a bowl full of each. Yum! I have always said that if I could only choose one food it would be ice cream.

kat said...

I finally had my first taste of gelato too oh was it good

Y said...

Hmph. It's like being tempted by forbidden fruit. Too bad Ciao Bella isn't available here. I love all those flavours!

Bellini Valli said...

On the islands in Greece they had gelato stalls everywhere....so good and fabulous flavours.You lucky duck!!!!!

Albany Jane said...

Oh, that last one does look good.

I really love sorbet in a punch (alcoholic or non, the sorbet totally makes it)

April in CT said...

Since I don't have a blog I'm going to have to agree with all of your descriptions (I was a very lucky winner too)! Except for putting the blood orange in ginger ale (excellent idea which I'll be trying with the tiny bit that's left) my tastebuds agree with yours right on. And that pen is my new favorite writing tool.

Gorgeous pictures! :o)

Heather said...

ahhhh i LOVE ciao bella gelato! it is the only one that tastes like actual italian gelato! lucky you... these all sound delicious! i haven't tried the maple gingersnap one yet... it sounds lovely!

Lucy said...

Having experienced gelato it in Italy, we would indulge daily. With the most difficult part being, which flavor to choose!! I will be on the lookout for this brand... I hope it won't be difficult finding it ;-)

The Blonde Duck said...

I've heard gelato is really good. Like you, I haven't ventured out of my cave to try some yet. Ever had frozen custard?

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

You sold me on this one when you said it tasted like Maggie Moos as I used to own one in California once upon a time... I will head over to Whole foods and pick a few pints up and give them a try!! Thanks for the great review

Maria said...

Gelato is my ultimate favorite dessert. These tubs could be dangerous for me!!

foodhoe said...

oof you weren't kidding - what a haul! That must have been fun opening the box...

Ingrid said...

Oh, yum! Being from NYC I've had gelato but not in a while (since I've lived in FL) as it's not found just any ol' where. I'm gonna check out my local Publix for some of that deliciousness. THX!
~ingrid

Mary said...

I'm so incredibly jealous. The grocery store that carried Ciao Bella in our town closed, so now I have no supply of it. sniff sniff.

Blackberry cabernet is also my favorite flavor and I would gladly take it off your hands! ;)

Bridgett said...

There is nothing quite like a delicious gelato. You must have had loads of fun opening that box to all the new goodies. I'm jealous.

Rosie said...

hey all sound and look wonderful, but the Blackberry Cabernet sorbet looks truly delicious..

Rosie x

noble pig said...

Grace...play the lotto becuase you win everything.

Susan said...

I was so happy to see that you tried the Blood Orange sorbet. It is one of my favorite indulgences!!

Katie said...

Lucky Duck. That looks like a great prize package.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Grace, you've go to have Gelato in Italy, it's even better!!

Krysta said...

lucky duck! i'm jealous.

Ann said...

ADORE Gelato!! Especially all the coffee flavors, or tira misu, or toffee...or anything, I guess. Love it.

Emiline said...

You lucky duck! I am so jealous. Every flavor sounds delicious!

Lisa said...

I plan sunny summer days in Portland around gelato. The best flavor ever was Sweet Cream laced with Baklava Crumbles. Yum! Unfortunately they don't make it anymore either.
I'm so glad you had a chance to try gelato. One shouldn't wait too long to enjoy such a luscious treat!

Pam said...

You lucky, lucky girl. The ginger snap maple is calling my name.

Robin Sue said...

Maple Ginger! Now that got my attention! And that puppy pic is too cute. I wonder what he is thinking? Ooh snow in Oct- that reminds me of my New England days! It is cold here in Va but by Trick or Treat time it will be 65- Woo hoo!

Dawn said...

Maple? Oh man! You lucky little sh** you.
And your comments on my blog cracked me. You so crazy.

kellypea said...

I had gelato the first time on my honeymoon and thought I'd died and gone to heaven with plain old vanilla -- and I am not in love with vanilla ice cream ever.

Nice little bag o'goodies you scored there. It'd be nice if what I sent ever got there, huh? Seriously.

Sophie said...

Congrats! Maple ginger snap!?!?! Holy cow, now there's a combo that I need to try!

Lorraine E said...

Those flavours look incredible. I have an urge to jump on a plane so I can try some of these!

Helene said...

Wow, can we come over and do some testing? Lovely.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

maple ginger snap! one tub, pls.....ehm, i'd prefer this blackberry instead of the electronic...cos it wont give me angry emails from customers HAHAHA

Veronica said...

You lucky, lucky girl! I must have Coconut Seven Layer Bar. I must have Coconut Seven Layer Bar. I must have...

Tabitha Blue said...

I L.O.V.E. gelato!!!! I've only had it in Peru and at a little Italian gelato place about an hour away from me... but I LOVE it!! Glad you're enjoying yours. I may have to order some now.

Oh, and I made some of your chocolate chip cookies tonight!!

Leslie said...

I fell in love w/ Gelatto about a year ago...wanna really go ape ass crazy??? Try Nutella gelatto!! OMG it is amazing!

RecipeGirl said...

maple gingersnap gelato sounds pretty much tdf. I think you should get to work on re-creating that flavor for us in a homemade gelato. Go on... get to work now!

Pamela said...

Maple Sugar Ginger Snap?? I would be fighting you for the one! Sounds divine.

giz said...

Wow - Elle's good but I didn't even realize how good. Now that your life is changed, are you sharing any of that life altering ice cream?

Bunny said...

What a haul is right, they all look so good. I like the color of the wine gelato, don't know if I'd like it but it's pretty.

Elle said...

Grace, I'm so happy that you enjoyed them! I have to say, the blood orange and key lime graham were my faves. I also enjoyed the blackberry cabernet one! Definitely different, for sure.

And snow? I'm totally jealous!

Erin said...

Hi Grace! This is Erin with Ciao Bella Gelato. We are so thrilled that you enjoyed the prize pack, and we really loved your post -the pictures are awesome!

Reading through the comments, I noticed you've enticed many of your readers, but they're unsure where to find us. We're available at Whole Foods and other retailers nationwide. You can also visit our Web site to find more retailers in your area: www.ciaobellagelato.com.

Thanks Grace!

Aleta said...

From one Southern Gal to another (I'm from New Orleans) - I've never tried Gelato. Thanks for the pictures. Looks yummy!

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ovenhaven said...

When I clicked on read more, I expected you to get one tub of gelato, but my oh my, weren't you lucky! I second the Nutella gelato comment. MMMMMMMMMM.......

Sandie said...

Yummy, Grace. I'm a big fan of gelato too!

(Believe it or not, I learned about gelato from Giada's Food Network show, Everyday Italian (don't laugh), and have been hooked ever since. As she suggested one episode, try your favorite gelato on hazelnut biscotti that's been spread with Nutella...divine! These make the best ice cream sandwiches ever!)

Mrs. said...

My husband and I tried some "rum crunch" gelato from a place at the new Palazzo in Vegas and it was out of this world! I keep forgetting to look for Ciao Bella when I'm at Whole Foods...I'll have to do that soon.

Mc Allen said...

I cant decide!!!! Ive never tried any of these but boy I sure want one now... Hmm, I wonder if you can find them in Ok....? :) Leah

Sandy said...

Oh - yes - yum!

Never heard of that brand tho!

MaryBeth said...

Here in Portland, Oregon we have places that serve Gelato...OMG it is so freakin good. However Up in Vancouver, Washington you can get some frozen custard and it is even better than gelato.

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

What an awesome gift! I want some of that maple-ginger snap gelato. I've only ever had the Cabernet flavor, really delicious, I must try the others. By the way, you should go to Italy, if for nothing else then for some fresh gelato!

Ali said...

wow! those are stunning. I'm craving some creamy gelato hard core now! :)

Jeanne said...

Maple and ginger snap?? OK, why oh why did you have to tell me abotu that? I will not rest till I can have some. Which might be tricky, since I am across the Atlantic... What an absolutely glorious prize!