Monday, November 15, 2010

Product Review: CIAO BELLA Gelato

If you have ever been to Italy and had the pleasure of tasting real, authentic gelato, then you understand why this post is ALL ABOUT gelato! Gelato is the Italian version of what we call ice cream...its smooth texture and intense flavor is beyond amazing.

We went to Europe in 2006, but I had since forgotten all about gelato and how much I loved it. Then, some members of my family went to Sicily this past summer, and my niece Melissa raved about how fabulous the gelato was. She suggested I include a recipe in my blog for "gelato in brioche" which is how they enjoyed it in Sicily. Great idea!! I thought to myself, hey, I've made ice cream many times how hard could it be to make gelato?

I did a little research, and gelato in brioche is similar to an ice cream sandwich. Here is a photo of what it looks like.
(Um, I think this is one of the best looking sandwiches I have ever seen.)

 I found several recipes for gelato. Hmm, they all definitely looked more complicated than the ice cream recipes I've tried. Then as I read on, I learned that there are a few key differences between gelato and ice cream.

 Ice cream usually has a minimum of 10 percent fat, whereas gelato is made with more milk than cream, so it contains more like 5 to 7 percent fat. Gelato is also churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it's denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture.   This meant that my treasured ice cream maker would probably churn too fast for making gelato. Drat, drat and double drat.

 I found myself very discouraged about making gelato. On the other hand, I was also suddenly very hungry for gelato at the same time! I must have gelato! Where could I find some, right away!?  

To my great relief, I found that there is fabulous gelato available right here in good old New Jersey! Ciao Bella (which means, “hello beautiful”) began their Gelato making adventure in Little Italy, NY in 1983. They started out as a tiny storefront selling custom flavors to white-tablecloth restaurants in downtown Manhattan. Ciao Bella quickly became an overnight sensation! Their company grew, and then Ciao Bella’s factory and business offices moved in 1999 to 40th Street in Irvington, NJ. That's right, New Jersey!

 This sought after product rings true to the Italian tradition of simplicity and great ingredients. Ciao Bella uses imported Italian machines to churn out gelato that duplicates the authentic flavor and dense texture found at gelato stands in Italy. So if you want to try something amazing, treat yourself to a pint of Ciao Bella. Here is a link to find stores in your area that carry it:

I headed out to the nearest Grocery store that carried Ciao Bella. I was hoping so much that they had Hazelnut...and indeed they did.  They had lots of other flavors as well, and so far we have tried the Roasted Hazelnut, Tahitian Vanilla, Espresso, and (my personal favorite) Key Lime Graham

Hello.... I dont think we will be going back to traditional ice cream anytime soon! They have several other varieties as well as some wonderful sorbets (so far we have tried the coconut). Give Ciao Bella a try if you haven't already. You won't be sorry!


  1. You have finally lived now!!!!! Gelato beats American ice cream any day...esp in a yummy brioche!!! :o)

  2. Love the packaging on the Ciao Bella gelato too! Nice colours and everything. SO GOOD.