You may have seen Talenti's signature clear gelato jars line the shelves of your nearest Whole Foods, Stop and Shop, or CVS. Named in honor of Bernardo Buontalenti, the architect from Florence credited with inventing gelato, it's not surprising that the company sticks to traditional methods. It takes pride in using pure sugar – never high fructose corn syrup – and other natural ingredients imported from around the world.
Gelato contains more milk and less cream than ice cream, meaning it is richer, smoother, and has 30% less fat. Talenti also sells sorbetto, a fat-free and dairy-free alternative made with fresh fruit, fruit juice and purée, and ice.
The company was founded by entrepreneur Josh Hochschuler as a Dallas gelateria in 2003. Two years later he closed the retail location and began selling to grocery stores. It's a good thing he did, because Talenti's appeal stretches far wider than Texas.
Talenti's BPA-free containers let customers have a better look at the goodness inside and are perfectly reusable for storing other items. All gelato flavors are kosher and many are gluten-free. Talenti sells pints, quarts, half gallons, and ice pops. With the goal of comparing flavors in mind, I made the trek to Whole Foods and picked up some of their most popular pints.
Tahitian Vanilla Bean
This flavor smells and tastes like creamy vanilla extract – I fell in love. Overall, this flavor was the smoothest of the bunch. For those vanilla ice cream haters that claim the flavor is bland, I encourage you try Talenti's take on it – you won't be disappointed.
Talenti's Wild Blackberry has a rich texture that is an interesting combination with the fruit flavor – just like a blackberry milkshake. I couldn't even taste the bitterness of blackberries, and it was just the right amount of sweetness.
Double Dark Chocolate
This gelato tastes like authentic dark chocolate. It's not overly sweetened, and is in fact somewhat bitter. The small chocolate chip pieces provide some necessary crunch. Die-hard chocolate fans, this one has your name on it.
Peanut Butter Pretzel
The ice cream itself is subtly flavored, but in combination with the peanut butter ripple it packs a lot of flavor. The crunchy pretzel bits balance the sweetness with a hint of salt. I appreciate that the swirl resembles real peanut butter, unlike the hardened stuff occasionally found in other well-known ice cream brands.