When choosing a place to dine/dessert in Italy, I have five basic standards that help me understand whether I should invest my time and money into a restaurant or gelateria; especially in very popular cities such as Florence, Milan, and Rome.
2) Gelato Assortment
3) Gelato Displays
4) Tourist Menus
5) English Menus
Each guideline changes with the city… so here’s my opinion on how to Find Florence’s Dining/Dessert Scene.
Gelato Assortment: No matter which review you’ve read on the internet or heard from a friend, you need to look at the color of the gelato in the display case. Why? If the gelateria is “artiginale” you can tell whether they’re using fresh fruit ingredients by looking at the color of the gelato.
How? Look at the banana gelato- if it’s any color other than gray, they’re lying to you… run away. If they are not supplying banana that day, read Part 3 for the next tip.
Gelato Displays: If you see solid gelato piled high on display, that usually means the gelateria is using artificial ingredients to prolong the shelf life. Italian gelato is not made to last for long periods of time. Italian gelato should be made in small batches with natural ingredients and fresh fruit. Visitors may fall for the piled high visual trick, but they’ll understand at first lick.
Perche No Gelateria
Via Tavolini 19
After reading reviews, inspecting display cases and taste-testing various flavors in Florence (at gelaterias such as Vivoli), I can confirm that Perche No offers authentic gelato straight from their on site laboratory. I was a bit skeptical due to the bright color of the raspberry gelato, but the taste says it all. Maybe my quality control standard should be changed to: Artisan gelaterias do not serve PUFFO (the blue gelato).
So let me break it down for you: if you chose a place with high piles of gelato, you’ll either be eating gelato with artificial ingredients and/or gelato that may or may not have been recycled from the night before. So say goodbye to 6,00 euro because you’re gonna waste 3,00 euro on the artificial gelato and then another 3,00 when you end up at Perche No for the real deal.