Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Knowing how much I love ice cream, you can probably imagine that in my greatest dreams I would wake up and find myself behind an ice cream counter and I’d be able to sample anything and everything. Thanks to Noel at Bravo Gelato, I can that dream has become a reality! I was so excited to be given the invitation, along with some of my other foodie friends, to come learn about, sample, and even make gelato.
A division of the famous Christie Cookie company, Bravo Gelato is a small business devoted to making a delicious product. Best of all (to me, at least) they happen to be located in Nashville. While it’s not something I’m too vocal about on my blog, I am very enthusiastic about Nashville’s local food scene. I go out of my way to support local businesses over large national chains whenever I can. Twitter is a great community for other local food lovers, and that happens to be how Bravo Gelato found me, and my enthusiasm for cold, creamy desserts!
Gelato is an Italian ice cream that is made a little bit differently. One of the great things about gelato (and I didn’t know this until my visit) is that gelato is lower in fat and calories than American ice creams. But, it manages to have an incredibly creamy, intense taste. By comparison:
Bravo Gelato, Vanilla – per 100g serving – 150 calories, 4.5g of fat
other famous ice cream shops*, Vanilla – 230-274 calories, 14-17g of fat
Hmm… I think we have a diet winner. The difference is, ice cream is primarily cream based, and gelato uses milk. How they acheive the richer, creamier taste, is they churn it in a way that incorporates MUCH less air. Ice cream is up to 80% air, and gelato is only 8-12%.
The best part about Bravo gelato? All the incredibly inventive flavors! My favorites include: Pistachio, Yazoo Stout (gelato made with LOCAL beer? Yes please!), Fireball Cinnamon Bourbon (I have a thing for bourbon, being a KY girl!), Bailey’s Irish Cream (not an alcoholic, I swear!), Espresso (my other addiction), and Salted Caramel. Also, just listen to some of the other flavors they’ve made: Dulce de Leche, Mexican Vanilla, Banana’s Foster, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Pecan Pie, Roasted Peach with Bourbon, Honey Roasted Fig, Milk and Honey Toddy, Sweet Potato Marshmallow. AND, they’ve made some savory flavors including Avocado, Goat Cheese, Tomato Basil, Peppercorn. From what I understand most of the savory flavors are varieties they’ve made for some of the 40 restaurants in Tennessee and Florida they supply.
And did I mention they also make sorbet? Flavors include Apricot Chardonnay, Watermelon, Papaya, Lychee, Green Apple, Cherry, Tequila Sunrise, Blood Orange, and the list goes on and on and on.
*I’ll pause here so you can find a towel to wipe the drool*
On the day we visted, Noel let us help him make the Strawberry Champagne (using real Italian Proscecco), and the Maple Bacon flavor. Yes. You heard right, Maple BACON Gelato. It was a maple gelato with bits of bacon that had been sprinkled with brown sugar and cooked, cooled, and mixed in. I’m am not one of those bacon-obsessed foodies, but I’m definitely not anti-bacon. After one bite, I was a believer! Even The Boy, who refused to try it liked it. (Along with the Maple Bacon and Strawberry Champagne flavors I brought home, I picked up some Yazoo Stout for him, and wouldn’t allow him any of it until he sampled the Maple Bacon flavor.)
For the Strawberry Champagne, the ingredients were so simple, and delicious. Including these amazing strawberries (by the way, I have not touched the saturation on any of these photos, everything really was that bright and colorful).
Bravo Gelato is located in the Christie Cookie store in Green Hills (in the little shopping center across from Noshville and Nero’s Grill), as well as the Green Hills Mall. If you’re a Nashvillian, what are you waiting for? Get over there today! If you’re not, look out, because they might be expanding soon! And don’t forget to follow Bravo Gelato on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
*such as the one with 2o-something scoops, or the kind where they fold your toppings in on cold marble, or the one with the German/Scandinavian sounding name
I’ll take a moment to mention, as in the past when I’ve raved about a product I love, I was not paid to write this post. I was simply invited to the tasting without even the mention of me blogging about it. I just enjoy raving over something I love and want to share it with everyone. I did get to take home a pint each of the Maple Bacon and the Strawberry Champagne, after all, I did help make it!