The search was on. Where would we find the best gelato? Where would it be? In Rome? Florence? Venice?
Little did we know there was more to understand about this topic than which flavor to select from the dozens that appeared in each shop. Lemon? Cream? Which one of multiple versions of chocolate? Mango? Nutella? Coffee? Endless decisions and combinations.
Imagine our surprise to learn from Sarah, our guide on the Eating Italy tour (eatingitaly.com) that there is real gelato and “fake gelato. The first made by hand with natural ingredients. The others from an industrial mix. And guess which one is more impressive to look at? Of course, the industrial version. Piled high, often with bright colors (think green, green pistachio), covered with pieces of fruit. Impressive to see. But filled with air to create volume. Less cream, less flavor.
Now we look for containers filled just to the top, the gelato almost flat with quiet colors. In our search we’ve discovered not only dozens of flavors. We’ve also found tiny places with 5 sizes of cones and more of cups, places where the cones are colored and other where cones are not allowed. Gelato served only in one of six sizes of cups. Discovering the gelato you love in the size that’s right for the time of day is a delightfully time consuming, tasty process.
But without Sarah’s advice we would never have given a second look to the flat, simple, stunningly delicious gelato we’ve enjoyed so much. Local knowledge made the difference.
Now I have a Gelato Rule. Search out local knowledge for business too. Listen to people who may know things you only learn through years of experience in a place, a company, a region.
Local knowledge can help you find best Gelato in all different forms.