Taste Tests

Seattle Met Taste Test: Gelato

Twelve tasters lap up 14 scoops from seven gelato shops.

August 9, 2011


By Abby Tracy and Christopher Werner

Gelato is like ice cream, only different. It has less butterfat, for one. Ice cream has a minimum fat content of 10 percent, while Italian gelato hovers between four and eight. True gelato is a mixture of 70 percent milk, 10 percent cream, and 17 percent sugar, according to Marco D’Ambrosio, owner of the very popular D’Ambrosio gelateria in Ballard. The balance is made up of “other ingredients,” which may include eggs, water, thickening agents, and of course flavorings.

Because it’s sweetly refreshing yet lighter than ice cream, gelato just may be the ideal summer treat. Lucky for us, Seattle is dripping with the stuff.

You could traverse town trying this-and-that flavor until you find a favorite, but let’s be real, who has time for that? Leave the homework to us.

To find out which spots are mixing the best batches, we contacted scratch gelaterias in the area and asked them to submit a tub of chocolate and a second flavor of their choice. Those that agreed to participate are represented here. A panel of 12 blindly sampled the submissions one by one, stopping only to assuage the occasional brain freeze. Gelato with a velvet-dense texture tended to score high, as did those with bright, pure flavors.

For tasting notes and a rundown of our favorites, scroll through the slideshow.

All photos by Seattlemet.com photographer Lucas Anderson.

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