I felt really lucky when I could return to wonderful Turin in less than six months. This time invited to attend the fourth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital (Turinepi). The chance of meeting other foodies and food professionals in the slow-food capital was enticing; how could I say no! You will find details of the meeting experience on my upcoming guest post ‘Turin: An Italian Discreet Gem’. It will be featured soon on the Turinepi’s website.
The three-day meeting took place last week, and I just came back on Sunday. This time I was determined to try as much ice cream (gelato) as I could, and that is what I did. There are so many ice cream parlors (gelaterias) in the city that I appreciated all those local foodies’ tips. This post is a personal homage to all those Turinese, who dedicate their time and effort making fantastic ice cream!
After trying different flavors in a couple of gelato places every single day, I have come up with a short list of favorites. These gelaterias look for deliciousness using premium-quality ingredients. Authentic taste is what really counts to them. They are not selling you just something sweet. Now I list them in alphabetical order, because they are all superb! Depending on your favorite flavor, you will find one or the other one better, but it is all a matter of taste, isn’t it?
L’Essenza del Gelato – Conveniently located 5-min walk from the Egyptian Museum or 7-min walk from the Cinema Museum. This small gelateria is run by a young couple, who homemade their product next door. They also offer vegan options. The parlor has only one bench and one table with two chairs, so it is more an ice cream to go. I have been told that for the mint ice cream, they hand wash the leaves one by one!
The fruit flavors are excellent; you may find actual pieces of fruit. I especially liked cilegia (cherry) and fragola (strawberry).
As expected in Turin, the chocolate ones, like ciocolatto fondente (dark chocolate) and the extra fondente (extra dark, no milk), were yummy as well.
My favorite flavor is always pistacchio, and at L’Essenza it was just amazing. It reminded me of the another extraordinary pistacchio that I had in Matera at Gelateria l Vizi degli Angel. See my Sneak Peek ‘An Enchanting Getaway to Puglia, the Fertile High Heel of Italy’.
La Romana – With headquarters in Rimini since 1947, it is a well-established gelateria with more shops all over Italy, but also in Spain and Austria. In Turin there are four parlors. I went twice to the newest one in the heart of Turin at via S. Teresa 6B, just a few steps from Piazza San Carlo.
I tried cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate) and pistacchio.
Everything in their pasticceria (pastries and cakes) display looks delicious.
The pâtissier at work is showcased too!
Mara dei Boschi – This gelateria applies the concept of ice cream lab, where they research and experiment with ice cream flavors. I would say that they are successful with their experiments; you will always find a queue. They have two locations: one in the San Salvario district in Turin and another one in Alba.
Through an adjoining door, you will find the Orso Laboratorio Caffé, a little café with lots of charm.
I wanted to show this great spot to my husband; fortunately, it was just a few blocks from the hotel. With him we tried lampone (raspberry), fondente+arancia (dark chocolate+orange) and mara dei boschi (fruit of the forest), pistacchio, cocco+yuzu (coconut+yuzu). This time raspberry surpassed all expectations.
Gelati Pepino (1884) – See also my review on Pepino on Sneak Peak ‘Curious in Torino (Turin)’. On that first visit we only had their apericena. This time we had time for an aperitif and also for an ice cream. Pepino is located in the splendid Piazza Carignano.
You don’t even need to get inside to have your ice cream, just order it at their window counter.
It was so hot (over 33°C!) that I had frutti esotici (in this case, pineapple and passion fruit) … refreshing, fruity, delicious!
After this gelato tour in Turin, you will find it really hard to like it somewhere else. I am considering going back there or ordering an ice cream machine to experiment myself.