For the past two weeks, Dennis has paid a visit to a gelateria almost every day. Some days he visit two. I think the record has been three. At each place, I take a picture of him in front of the sign, holding up his rating of the place (as the self-appointed gelato connoisseur of the trip). There have been a couple of duds, but for the most part, they’re very good. We paid a couple visits to Grom, the organic gelato chain from Turino with the most amazing dark chocolate ice cream ever. And Carozza right by the Ponte Vecchio. La Carraia across the river was good enough to merit two trips although Dennis found the lemon ice cream so terrible that he fed it to the fish in the river (the fish loved it). For the record, I want to point out that Dennis is the only one who got gelato at all the places. The rest of us sometimes ordered our own but often had a taste of his.
No matter how good these gelaterias have been, however, none of them merited five stars. They scored 4.5 on Dennis’s arbitrary scorecard based on god knows what. When I asked him what would merit a 5, his response was “You just know.”
On the last day of Florence, we finally found the five-star gelato at a place called Badiani outside the wall. Here’s an excerpt of what one of our bibles for the trip “The Food Lovers’ Guide to Florence” said about it:
“Badiani is the queen bee of Florentine gelatarias. You’ll want to make a trip out to this inconvenient spot… for one reason only: Buontalenti…. Buontalenti is the color of buttermilk and has no discernable flavor… Instead it tastes like some kind of heart-stopping quadruple cream straight from the cow.”
The author pretty much nailed the description of this. Because she was literally right. We took one taste (I had mine with coffee ice cream, Dennis with pistachio), looked at each other and agreed that god had spoken through the gelato.