A Couple More Delicious Flavours at Nani’s Gelato

Nani's GelatoLocation: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Websitehttps://www.nanisgelato.com

Did I go right back to Nani’s Gelato after trying it for the first time the other day?  Why yes, yes I did.  What can I say; it’s really good.

This time I was able to try two flavours — pistachio, and tahini and black sesame.  Both were absolutely outstanding.

Nani's Gelato

Pistachio is a classic gelato flavour, and Nani’s knocks it out of the park.  It has a vibrant pistachio flavour that, unlike so many other places, actually tastes like real pistachio — not pistachio flavouring.

The tahini and black sesame is just as good, with a toasty, intense tahini flavour, and a restrained amount of sweetness that lets the nutty sesame flavour shine through.

I really hope this place opens a permanent location soon, because I think it’s easily a contender for the best gelato in the city.

Outstanding (and Unique) Gelato at Nani’s Gelato

Nani's GelatoLocation: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Website: https://www.nanisgelato.com

Fact: it’s impossible to read this article without immediately being overcome by an extreme desire to go check out that gelato.  High quality gelato with really interesting, Indian-inspired flavours?  Yes please.  Put that in my belly ASAP.

I was hoping to try the pistachio cardamom, but alas, it wasn’t available when I went.  I guess I’ll have to go back — what a hardship.

Nani's Gelato

It’s as delicious as advertised.  The gelato itself is great; it’s rich, creamy, and smooth, with a perfect consistency.

As for the flavour, I got the Carrots and Cream, which is apparently based on a traditional Indian pudding called carrot halwa.  I can’t say I’ve tried that particular dessert, but if this gelato is any indication, it’s good.

I’m not sure what to compare the flavour to.  I guess carrot cake?  But not really.  It has a similar flavour profile to any number of Indian desserts, but it’s also got its own thing going on.  I don’t know.  It’s delicious.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  It’s delicious and you should eat it immediately.

Quality Pasta (and Even Better Dessert) at Terroni

TerroniLocation: 1095 Yonge Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.terroni.com/

I didn’t think it was possible to be offended by a bread plate, but Terroni proved me wrong.

The bread plate at Terroni costs six dollars.  And fine — I understand that restaurant margins are dangerously thin, and that charging for bread is increasingly becoming a thing.

Terroni

The issue is that the plate comes with three tiny, dried-out slices of over-toasted white bread with a few drops of olive oil sprinkled on, four pieces of taralli (which is essentially an Italian breadstick), a small handful of olives, and… that’s it.  No butter, no olive oil, just mediocre bread and a few olives.  For six bucks.  Get the hell out of here with that.

Terroni

Thankfully, the rest of the meal was much better.

I had the Garganelli Geppetto, which is a pasta dish that comes with “dandelions, homemade spicy italian sausage, fontina, parmigiano, extra-virgin olive oil.”

Terroni

A dish like this is a bit of a tightrope walk — the “sauce” is essentially oil, so it’s going to be somewhat greasy by default.  But this one goes a bit too far, and feels oilier than it should be.

Still, it’s a tasty dish — the sausage is above average and has a mild spicy bite; the cheese adds a good amount of saltiness and a mild funk, not to mention some gooey meltiness; and the pasta itself is perfectly cooked and satisfying.  It’s good stuff.

Terroni

I can’t remember the name of the dessert and I can’t find it on the menu online, but it was essentially a croissant filled with Nutella, hazelnut gelato, and whipped cream.  It was easily the highlight of the meal.  It was shockingly delicious; the Nutella and the creamy gelato (which adds even more hazelnut flavour) go amazingly well together, and the tasty croissant is a perfect vehicle.

Ice cream cones are officially dead to me — I want all my ice cream in a croissant from now on.

Top-Notch Gelato at Piccolina Gelato

Piccolina GelatoLocation: 85 Portland Street, Toronto
Websitehttps://piccolina-gelato-e-altra-roba.business.site/

Piccolina Gelato is a tiny little ice cream shop (it’s about the size of a large walk-in closet) that sells gelato and soft serve ice cream.

Maybe it’s because it’s such a small and unassuming space, but my expectations weren’t particularly high.

I was pretty blown away by how good it was.

Piccolina Gelato

I had the chocolate hazelnut, and man, it was good.  It was maybe a touch too sweet, but aside from that it was first-class gelato.

The texture was amazing — it was rich, silky, and incredibly creamy.  It was profoundly satisfying, and certainly, right up there with the best in the city in that regard.

The flavour was almost as good.  It had a very assertive chocolate/hazelnut flavour that was quite Nutella-esque.  It also had a very generous amount of nut pieces and chocolate chips that helped to amp up the flavour and the texture.

Honestly, aside from the sweetness thing (a minor complaint), everything about it was great.  I really, really enjoyed it.

Problematic Gelato at Kekou Gelato

Kekou GelatoLocation: 394 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.kekou.ca/

Though ice cream and gelato joints serving Asian-inspired flavours seem to be popping up on an almost weekly basis, I’m pretty sure Kekou is the OG.  It might not be the pioneer in the city, but it was definitely one of the first.

They have a variety of unique flavours like black sesame, Vietnamese coffee, and durian (and they must also be doing other things with durian, because the place kinda reeks of the stuff).

Kekou Gelato

I went with rosewater pistachio, and the flavour was superb.  The balance between the nutty pistachio and the fragrant rosewater was just right; neither flavour overwhelmed the other, and they complimented each other perfectly.

The texture, however, was a bit of an issue.  It wasn’t icy, but it had a thin mouthfeel and a distinct lack of creaminess that was unsatisfying.

Kekou Gelato

The funny thing is, they actually have a sign up in the store explaining that the thin texture is intentional — it is, they claim, a side-effect of the gelato’s lack of stabilizers.

A couple of things about this:

1)

2) Even if this is true — that it’s impossible to make creamy gelato without the use of stabilizers, and that every luxuriously creamy gelato I’ve ever had (both here and in Italy) used some form of chemical magic for its rich texture — then maybe stabilizers are just part of making high quality gelato?

Again, I’m skeptical that this is the case, but I’m sure that making truly great gelato is a skill that takes years to master.  If your gelato-making know-how isn’t advanced enough to make it creamy without using stabilizers, then here’s an idea: use stabilizers.  Is the ability to smugly claim that your gelato is stabilizer-free really worth selling a subpar product?

It’s not a huge deal — and I’ve certainly had worse — but the fact that they’re coming right out and admitting that they’re selling inferior gelato on purpose is a little bit frustrating.