Posted by: lisetta | October 20, 2009

Mamma Italia gelato

Rachel and Ben take me places I would otherwise never go: the KFC in a mansion on City Line, the  Whispering Bench in Fairmount, the Korean war memorial in Penn’s Landing. Expert geocachers with a penchant for bargain hunting, more than anyone I know they embody the spirit of modern day exploration. Tonight they took me to Aldi, a supermarket that, although somewhat close to our apartment building, I’ve never been in. Fascinating.

It smelled bad when we first got in, like some noxious blend of chemicals and rotten meat. Truly bothersome at first; I’m certain that if I had strayed in on my own, I’d have turned around immediately and left. Ben and Rachel wanted milk, so we continued down the aisle. Once over the smell, I was fascinated by the choice of foods, piled up and displayed directly in their shipping boxes. All was colorful, with brands I had never seen. Prices were incredibly low: $1.29 for a box of graham crackers, $.87 for a 2-pound can of crushed tomatoes, $3.99 for extra virgin olive oil (from Italy, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey). The cashews came from India and Vietnam, the frozen flounder from China … and the gelato from Italy.


I had to buy it and bring it home. Artisan gelato at Capogiro sells for about $ 5 for a half a cup; Aldi was selling this large container of Mamma Italia mixed berry gelato for only $3.99. Who doesn’t like frutti di bosco, and if it was made in Italy, surely it couldn’t be so bad. Despite a belly full of pizza, we bought it for dessert.

Its texture was just right: light and airy. The frozen fruits were tart and true to flavor. The gelato was neither too sweet nor particularly distinct in its flavors. Rachel said it tasted like the top layer of one of those paper-wrapped ice cream cones you buy at a convenience store near the beach. Ben noticed that it is only 130 calories for a half a cup. We ate more than half of it. What else can I say?

I’d like to believe that I could satisfice with a tub of this in my freezer, but must admit I am totally spoiled by the all-natural gourmet flavors of gelato at Stephanie and John’s homegrown Capogiro. Rosemary goat cheese, gianduja, Thai coconut …. must arrange another gelato date sometime soon.


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