Monday, May 25, 2015
Is Nancy's Fancy 'The Gelato That Will Change America'?
That's a lot of pressure to put on a frozen dessert, so let's assess this new and luxurious product that one chef said could convert Americans from ice cream to gelato.
What/who: Nancy's Fancy comes from Nancy Silverton, co-owner of Mozza, founder of La Brea Bakery and Beard award-winning pastry chef. They're made at the L.A. Creamery facility in Chatsworth.To me, gelato only tastes different from ice cream when you're eating it in Italy or at least housemade at a gelato specialty shop. So to my taste, these packaged pints are on the same playing field as other upscale ice creams found around L.A.
Flavors considered in reverse order of preference:
1) Butterscotch budino with salted caramel swirl: Mozza is known for its uber-rich butterscotch budino dessert; this version adds a salted caramel swirl. The layer upon layer of deeply caramelized flavor is wonderful but best in small doses; a little too sweet overall. B
2) Frutti di bosco: Berries with Greek yogurt have a bright, deep berry flavor. Almost too intense, but perfect paired with something blander. A-
3) Coconut stracciatella: This gelato surprisingly has no dairy, just luscious coconut cream with finely ground chocolate shavings. It's way creamier than the typical sorbet or soy ice cream, with a fairly strong salty component that I personally found addictive playing off the bittersweet chocolate. A
4) Roasted banana with bourbon & pecan praline: It's easy to tell how good this is going to taste from the name alone. The banana flavor is subtle, but combined with the bourbon undercurrent and crunchy sweet praline bits, it's the winning entry so far. A+
Price: $10.99 a pint. Yep, it's a lot, but it's also the same as Jeni's and in line with places like Salt & Straw and Carmela. If you're a quality over quantity ice cream person, as I am, it could be worth the splurge. There's probably no gelato that will actually get Americans to stop eating cheap, low-quality ice cream, but this could definitely change your bringing-dessert-to-a-friend's-house-game.
I'm looking forward to trying some other flavors in the works like Chunky peanut butter with salted peanuts and Stumptown spiced coffee with cocoa nibs.
Available at: Gelson's Markets
( I was provided this ice cream to try but I would have definitely tried it on my own as well.)
at 3:27 PM