Traveling abroad can be an amazing experience for so many reasons. And in many places the food can be the highlight of your trip. However, finding the best restaurants and avoiding the tourist traps can be challenging. So here are some local tips for buying the best gelato in Italy.

1. Look for the lids

Because of how gelato is made it needs to be kept at a specific temperature for the optimal experience. It is much denser and more flavorful than regular ice cream. And should be kept at a slightly warmer temperature to keep the texture silky and smooth. This means that good gelateria’s will always store their gelato in metal containers with lids to keep the it at the needed temperature.

And no matter how attractive those tall colorful piles of frozen goodness may appear, it’s actually indicative of it potentially not even being gelato. Gelato has a much lower fat content than ice cream, this means that it isn’t able to be whipped up or piled like ice cream is. The ‘gelato’ being displayed piled up high in open containers likely has a higher fat content than it should, and may not even qualify as it.

2. Colors

Good gelato should not be super bright colors, because quality gelato has a high proportion of natural ingredients. So make sure to look for natural more muted colors, as opposed to brighter more saturated colors.

3. Flavors

As stated above natural ingredients are king when it comes to gelato, so that applies to flavors as well as colors. If their are flavors like bubble gum or puffo on the menu, you’ll probably want to try a different spot. Some things to look for are seasonal fruit flavors, a latte flavor, and a plain milk flavor (not vanilla, most quality gelato places will not have a vanilla gelato).

4. Ingredients

If you’re truly committed to finding the best of the best, here’s a tip for you. Gelateria’s in Italy are required to display their ingredients for customers to see. If you read through the list and see vegetable oil, artificial colors, or flavors, you may want to consider going somewhere else.

5. Recommendations

Most quality gelateria’s survive by having a good reputation that brings customers around. Ask locals what the best gelato places are, to find the quality places.

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