Food: International Gelato Festival 2014, Florence, Italy

europe, florence, food, gelato, italy

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Florence, Italy. September 2014.

From September 12-14, 2014, Florence was host to the finals of the International Gelato Festival (an event I had no idea existed but am so psyched about), where gelato makers from Europe compete for the top prize. This year, the finals were held in Piazzale Michelangelo, a fitting venue where you can enjoy the gelato and the gorgeous view.

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In order to eat the gelato, you must purchase these tickets that come in different denominations. I got the recommended “Gelato Card” which is 7€ and entitles you to 5 tastings, 1 cocktail, and a free ice cream sandwich upon purchase.

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Nutella was one of the major sponsors of the event, so they had lots of fun installations and photo ops there.

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Their gelato was really good too. I think I would have liked it to have been streaked with some Nutella fudge as well, but as it is, it’s creamy, fluffy, and Nutella-ey. The container is acrylic so you can take it home as a souvenir.

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This gelato and this view = ❤

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The golden city of Firenze ❤

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David (the replica) was having a good day himself–well-lit and backdropped by gorgeous fluffy clouds. He was ready for his photo op.

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My second tasting (and believe me it was hard to choose only 4 among all the stalls there) was sweet wine gelato with cookies. Not bad although on a logistical level, those cookies did not want to stay on the ice cream. They instead were all over my shoes.

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Third tasting: Dark chocolate with orange gelato, lactose-free! I had to try the lactose-free option, since I am prone to lactose intolerance here and there, but who isn’t. Nice and smooth, although I would have liked another textural element, like orange syrup or something.

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Fourth tasting: hazelnut gelato with hazelnut praline. This was pretty good, and i loved the praline bits, but a bit too sweet. A tiny portion is all I could eat at a time.

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Fifth tasting: pistacchio gelato. This pistachio really tastes like the nuts in the jar, and not the sweet-ish pistachio we’ve grown accustomed to. Not bad, although I wish the pistachio bits were a bit crisper.

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And finally, my gelato cocktail. I had originally ordered a Bitter Orange one but since the lines and wait were so long, I decided to get whatever was ready to serve, and that was the mojito gelato cocktail. Kid-friendly, I think, since I didn’t really taste any alcohol. It was more like a really smooth mint shake. Perfect for beating the heat.

I wish I had the stomach real estate to have been able to try more flavours, but as it is, I couldn’t finish the five tastings! I think it would have been perfect for 2-3 people to share, though. There were so many other interesting flavours–I saw turmeric raisin, egg and celery, and those are just the weird ones! Trying more flavours will take several visits, so it’s no wonder they made the event 3 days! ‘Til next year!

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