Friday, July 22, 2011

Lolly Pop Gelateria

Address: Via G. Carducci 21, Portferraio (Isola d'Elba), Italy.

Review: So, we took the day and went to Elba (a small located off the west coast of Italy straddling the line between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas). While Elba is most famous for housing Napoleon Bonapart during his exile from France, it is a stunningly beautiful main island of an equally beautiful arcipelago. Its waters are deeply blue, and its forests are deeply green. Our Elba experience convinced me the next we vacation in Italy, we'll likely tour the islands exclusively --- i.e., Elba, Sardegna, Sicilia.

After picking up a quick, forgettable lunch from a bar, we happened upon the Lolly Pop Gelateria in Portoferraio (Elba's largest city, and where the majority of the Napoleon stuff is found).

I was a bit skeptical because of the name, which seemed a bit americanized, but we decided to give it a try when we noticed the only patrons were Italian.

I had three flavors: cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate), frutti di bosco (fruit from the woods), and pistacchio (I'm sure you understood that one). The gelato's quality was recognizable upon the first bite.
The frutti di bosco was acidic the way good berries are. It was swimming with berry seeds as well, and while you would think they might be a laborious pain to eat, they weren't. In fact, they add mouth feel and a sense of "Hey, I'm actually eating berries here." Additionally, the flavor wasn't over sugared, which allowed the berries to come through with full vigor. In the end, it felt like these berries had been picked not long before from a place not far away, and you were being allowed to eat the best of the picking. This was the best frutti di bosco I've eaten.

The chocolate was also quite good. Again, not very sweet, but loaded with dark chocolate flavor. This flavor's smoothness made a great contrast when eaten with the seed-studded frutti di bosco. It also added depth and chocolatey goodness to the pistachio. So, it was quite good on its own, but better when pared with other flavors.

The pistachio was light on the tongue and had a lovely pistachio flavor, which is about all you can ask for. Honestly, I could have used a little more pistachio, but its creamy and slightly lactic taste, made this flavor very pleasing.

Lolly Pop was a great find. We'll certainly return on our next Elbacade.

Rating: 7.5/10 (5/10 is average).

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