Gelato Ice Cream Cone
Beyond the gelato cup. It’s not authentic Italian, but Americans enjoy gelato in cones. Photo by Pietro Giordano | SXC.



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STEPHANIE ZONIS is a contributing editor.



March 2006
Last Updated April 2012


Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Ice Cream & Sorbet

Gelato: The Real Scoop

Page 3: Buy Gelato Online

This is Page 3 of a three-page article.  Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

Where To Buy Great Gelato

There are many large ice cream corporations in the U.S., but very few produce truly excellent products. There are far fewer giants in the gelato world here, so if you’re lucky enough to live near a gelateria, your chances of getting gelato that’s fresh and and well-made are somewhat improved.

What was that about gelato makers who ship their products, you ask? Yes, there are a modest number in the U.S. who will deliver their gelato even unto your very doorstep. Be aware that these gelato shipments are not inexpensive, but you’re talking about a frozen dessert made with top-quality ingredients by people who are passionate about their products, if not clinically obsessed with them. And it’s no different than having your favorite wine or steaks or cheesecake sent to you. As with the steaks and cheesecake, the most important part of having gelato shipped is that someone needs to be home to receive it and get it into the freezer promptly. It comes packed in dry ice and, if you have a neighbor or a concierge, it can wait for your return for several hours—but not for a day.

One more consideration: Most gelato-makers do not have large stocks of any one flavor on hand available for shipping, and some ship on a limited basis because of that. They best producers make their products in small batches; so you can’t necessarily call one of the producers listed below and expect a large amount of frozen gratification in any flavor on the list to arrive the next day. Depending on what you ask for, they may require time to make the exquisite creation. Some things in life are worth waiting for, and good gelato is one of them.

Buy Gelato Online

As a congratulatory gift, for a foodie friend’s birthday, or just as a treat for yourself, it’s hard to beat a gelato made by someone who really cares about what they’re doing. Listed below are four gelato-makers in the U.S. who ship. Note that all of these companies make and ship sorbetto (dairy-free), as well.

  • Capogiro Gelato Artisans. Two words: Burnt Sugar. Silken-smooth, with a fabulously creamy texture, this gelato really does taste like the top of a crème brulée, just as the website promises. The Cioccolato Scuro is a dream come true for fans of bittersweet. The extensive flavor list honors both the traditional and the modern. There are two gelaterie in Philadelphia; and a sampling of flavors are available in a some Whole Foods Markets and other specialty food stores. Read our full review of Capogiro.
  • Ciao Bella Gelato Company. Certainly the largest and best-known company on this list, Ciao Bella has scoop shops in some states and is sold in some upscale markets. Otherwise, you can order online, choosing from such gelato flavors as Green Tea with White Chocolate Chunks, Hazelnut or the Fresh Mint with Chocolate Chips. While you’re at it, the Blood Orange Sorbetto is divine. See more on Ciao Bella Gelato.
  • Il Laboratorio del Gelato. This is New York City’s best-regarded gelateria. The shop itself is on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. Jon Snyder started Ciao Bella Gelato in Manhattan some years ago when he was 19 years old, became a smashing success with his breadth of fresh flavors, burned out and sold the company. After September 11, he decided to start another business in Manhattan. He’s back in the business with a small shop making hand-crafted, artisanal gelati. Mr. Snyder has a tidy roster of flavors but ships a somewhat more limited range. See our full review of Il Laboratorio del Gelato.
  • Palazzolo’s Artisan Gelato & Sorbetto. What’s more fun than opening a stack of presents on your birthday? Ordering Palazzolo’s “The Sampler”: 27 assorted cups, each 6 ounces, of whatever is being made fresh at the time. You never know just what you’ll get; this is a gelato party waiting to happen. Note that this company does not ship pints; if you don’t order a Sampler, you can only get ice cream in 172 ounce tubs (about 1.3 gallons). There’s a huge range of flavors and custom flavors (in essence, you can have your gelato and eat it, too). The brand is certified kosher. See our full review of Palazzolo’s Gelato.

Books About Gelato

Gelato! Ultimate Ice Cream Book Frozen Desserts
Gelato!: Italian Ice Cream, Sorbetti & Granite, by Pamela Sheldon Johns, Joyce Oudkerk-Pool. This book is an authority on all things “cool and Italian.” You’ll become the local expert on gelato in no time. Be sure your ice cream maker is in working order! Click here for more information. The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks and more, by Bruce Weinstein. Here are recipes for just about every ice cream imaginable, from four different versions of plain old vanilla to avocado ice cream. Click here for more information. Frozen Desserts: The definitive guide to making ice creams, ices, sorbets, gelati, and other frozen delights, by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir. Among the more than 200 recipes, you will find nine for vanilla ice cream, a truly drop-dead chocolate ice cream, and rocky road. Click here for more information.

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