My Sweet Venice | La boutique del gelato
Nothing is better than a refreshing ice-cream on a hot day.
Gelato is one of my favourite desserts and, I confess, I eat it quite often. It's not my fault, in Venice there are so many ice-cream shops that it's impossible not to let yourself be tempted, plus -to me- ice-cream is synonym of relaxation. Once a week (maybe less during the winter) Vito and I get a big bowl of ice-cream to eat at home in front of a movie. Obviously, chocolate is always one of the flavours in the list.
Close to my house, there are three ice-cream shops I really like and one of them is called Boutique del gelato. Located in Salizzada San Lio, this small laboratory produces a really creamy artisan ice-cream using real fruit, high-quality ingredients and no preservatives. It's very popular among locals and foreigners alike, so don't be surprised if you find a long queue of people outside.
I'm aware to be a little boring, since I tend to always choose the same flavours -chocolate and yogurt-, but they make the most delicious fruit ice-creams ever. Today I got some green apple, very fresh and tasty, with a pleasant crispness, but I also recommend the melon, lemon and berry flavours.
The portions are quite generous and the people behind the counter are always smiling and helpful. We are regulars, so they know us, but anyway the value for money is excellent. A cone with two flavours can easily substitute a meal. Despite this, we had started buying an 8 euro bowl a week, but now we have moved to the 12 euro one! We're talking about a serious addiction to gelato here.
As previously said, chocolate is always present. Then, both me and Vito have our favourites. He likes variegato all'amarena (cherry), tiramisù and pistacchio, while I go for yogurt, stracciatella, hazelnut or vanilla. I like the taste of fresh milk and the creaminess of this sweet frozen dessert. If you want to exaggerate, try the nocciolosa, for real gourmands.
Another must try is definitely the Gelato al Gianduiotto, a brick of intense frozen pleasure. Gianduiotto chocolates are originally from Piedmont and traditionally made with a paste of sugar, cocoa and hazelnut. Small in size and wrapped in gold tinfoil, these brown babies conquered the entire world's palate. Now, imagine that flavour intensified and transformed into a small block of ice-cream that slowly melts in your mouth releasing a persistent taste of sweetened cocoa. Oh yes, simply amazing, a concentrate of pure delight.
I used to have it when I was a child. My dad would buy it in a small trattoria close to where we lived: I would eat it with whipped cream, while he dipped it into a glass of whiskey. Not exactly light, but it's something you have to try at least once in your life.
I always ask for a few cones and some wafers to take away. The rolled chocolate and vanilla wafer sticks are the ones I prefer...
If I had to choose three adjectives to describe Boutique del gelato's ice-cream I'd say:
easy to eat, in the sense that it's not excessively intense (you could go on eating it forever), satisfying, both taste and portion wise and creamy.
Did you know that ice-cream is a perfect snack also for lactose intolerants? In fact, being fortified with the lactase enzyme, it is much easier to digest. Anyway, you don't need to gorge yourself like we do, a cone with two flavours is more than enough.
If you decide to stop at Boutique del gelato you'll be supporting a high-quality local family run business and you'll get to savour one of the best artisan ice-creams in central Venice. Friendly and easy going gelateria perfect for anyone who likes gelato!
Address: Salizzada San Lio, 5727, 30100 Castello
Phone: +39 041 522 3283