Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gelateria La Carraia 2

I’ve walked past this Gelateria almost every day since I arrived in Florence, because conveniently enough it is located on my walk to and from school. A small hole in the wall place, I didn’t originally have much faith in it. Judging a gelateria on appearances is a fine art, as there must be thousands of gelaterias in Florence. According to my host brother, gelato was invented here in Florence and, he added, the inventor of the ice cream cone was an Italian, in America, who got tired of his glass ice cream dishes breaking so invented cones to replace them. Don’t random facts like that make life more interesting?

Anyway, I didn’t go inside Gelateria La Carraia 2 because I couldn’t tell if it offered gelato of the mass-produced, poor quality type or not. Eventually, though, convenience overcame my skepticism and Kelly and I stopped in one day. We’ve stopped several times since then – I think of it as sort of the “house wine” of gelaterias. Not jaw dropping, celebrate a special occasion kind of gelato, but rather a pretty good every day gelato.

It has several things going for it. First, as I mentioned, its always easy to stop by. There are several good lunch places nearby too, so its easy to just make it our next stop. Second, Kelly’s favorite flavor which she never fails to order is yogurt, and Gelateria La Carraia 2 offers not only yogurt gelato but also yogurt and nutella gelato – how can you beat that? And third, it offers gelato in a 1.30 euro price. Most places the smallest you can get is 2, or 1.50, so this generous small is nice – just the right amount, never so much that you feel uncomfortably full even if you do come straight from lunch, and not so much as it makes you reluctant to pull out your wallet (gelatos seem to add up very quickly here!).

I've enjoyed trying several flavours: cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate), cioccolato (chocolate), nocciola (hazelnut), and biscotti (cookies). Very good. Its hard to find a flavor to stand up to the decadent but not super sweet cioccolato fondente, but I love it, so I’ll keep experimenting with new combinations.

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