Ice cream has always been a mandatory staple in my diet – my daily dose of dairy, as I put it. We need the calcium for healthy bones, right? When I was younger and had a nicer metabolism, I used to eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That quickly changed as I grew older. My expectations of the quality of ice cream increased as I was forced to eat less of it because my metabolism could not keep up. I started with good, old Breyers ice cream as a kid, then Ben& Jerrys, then Brusters,ect. – all moving up with the quality as the quantity went down. However, the problem with constantly moving up is that you will always reach a “peak,” where you then stay on a plateau, or go back down again. A few years ago I was introduced to Gelato in New York City and tragically thought I had reached my peak. It was so creamy and delicious, and I thought that I would never be able to enjoy ice cream again.
But, little did I know that it COULD get better, as I found out when I visited Rome last year. I wish somebody would have captured my face on camera when I walked into an Italian Gellateria for the first time in my life. Lets just say that if I died, the Italian Gellateria would be my heaven. I remember noting that my favorite flavor of Gelato was Limone Cello. I left Italy convinced that that was the end of my ice cream travels and that things were going to go downhill from there.
However, the Roman Gellateria that I visited last year has recently been outdone….by miles. I am nominating the best Gelato in the world to Carabe Gellateria (aka “Gelato castle,” as my friends and I call it). I didn’t know that the words “gourmet” and “gelato” could possibly go well together, but Carabe Gelato has proven to me that they can.
Imagine this: You get in the car knowing that you are going to get Gelato somewhere – maybe the town next to you. However, when you pass the town next to you and keep driving for another 20 minutes, you start to question where you are going. When you have finally accepted that you are in the middle of nowhere and have no idea where you are going, you turn into a gated driveway with a gigantic sign that is the shape of an ice cream cone. You pull into a driveway that goes up a hill lit up by lanterns, and at the top of the hill is a beautiful Gellateria surrounded by curtained pavilions. You walk in and everything is stainless steel with marble counter tops and warm lighting. The baristas are dressed in chef uniforms and are smiling non-stop. There are Gelato options such as pear and ricotta cheese, pistachio (grown on their own organic farm), and olive oil (which is so stereotypically Italian, it’s ridiculous – however, the olive oil ice cream is incredible!). You order your olive oil gelato mixed with a “surprise me.” The gelato is so rich and complex in flavor, that it’s like you are trying a good glass of wine for your first time. Words can not describe the experience, other than plainly saying “Gourmet Gelato.”
Let’s just say, that I will never experience such incredible Gelato again. Thank you Carabe for proving to me that I have now had the best ice cream I will ever have in my life.
When you come to Italy and go out of your way to go to this Gelatteria, here are the links with the information for directions: