4 Tips on How to Distinguish Good/Bad Gelato

Anybody who comes to visit Italy must also come with the money and appetite for the Italian food. No matter if it is a simple plate of pasta with tomato sauce, pizza margherita, or steak Fiorentina over a glass of wine, etc. we kinda expect Italian does it better! And when it comes to Gelato (ice cream), it is a question that can be simple and, at the same time, serious! A gelato is a matter of โ‚ฌ2 โ€“ 5 in Italy, however how do I know if the thing in my cup/ cone worth it or not? Is this shop really selling good gelato, just because there are people talking about this place on social media?

Months ago I joined a food tour with EatingItaly in Rome. I was brought to Testaccio area for the adventure, where collects many great foodie spots, as well as food cultures. During our tour, we visited many shops, tasted interesting food, and most importantly introduced food knowledge. The whole tour, as mentioned in my tour-mate Valentina’s post, was “a good balance between food and culture”!

One of the most interesting knowledge, which is also the one I’ve been utilizing the most every since, is tips on how to tell if the gelato is good or not, or should I say real or fake. To make high profit from gelato, some manufacturers add certain artificial color and flavors into the production, then sell to us. But the problem is how (the hell) do I know?! Our tour guide Douglas had taught us 4 tips on distinguishing between good and bad gelato. And I’ve been using these tips every time I buy ice cream!

post 69 - gelato 6

  1. The Color of Banana Flavor Gelato

We associate the color Yellow with the banana strongly, however the color of the banana itself is not yellow. Here is the clue! If you see the color of the banana gelato is as yellow as the banana skin, there is no banana in the gelato, instead it was the artificial banana flavor who gave the taste.

The real/ good banana flavor gelato should be White!

  1. Pistachio Gelato

Similar as above, the pistachio gelato shouldn’t glow as a piece of gold. Instead it should be with very dirty earthy gray, just like the pistachio crushed into paste.

  1. Mint Gelato

Mint leaves are green, so does the color of mint gelato! Here is a tricky one! To make mint flavored gelato, we use the mint extract from the seeds, but not the mint leaves. If a gelateria is selling green colored mint gelato, high chances that they are using artificial colors. If they use artificial colors, probably they also use other chemical stuff.

florence borgo gelateria della passera

Buying gelato from Gelateria della Passera


  1. Shape: Concrete or Pile Up

A real, good gelato should have weight, and lay on the bottom of the container. While the fake gelato can be piled up very high like a barbie’s dress, as it contains chemical stabilizer. It looks nice, but it is 75% air, which means your money is practically buying nothing (profit here!!!).

Wrong shape, sorry~~~ ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘Ž


So, how do you like your cup/ cone of gelato now? Hope this post helps you stay away from those tourist traps. And where to find good gelato in Florence? Here is my post of 3 Gelateria I Like in City Center.

gelato in Florence


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5 thoughts on “4 Tips on How to Distinguish Good/Bad Gelato

  1. It’s interesting that seeing a banana gelato with yellow color means that they used artificial flavoring. My sister and I were craving for gelato the other day when we realized that not a lot of stores around our area sells this product. It might be a good idea to look for wholesale suppliers of gelato and see if we can open our own business.


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