Yes, folks, it’s that time again. Time when the weather is warming up, the flowers are in bloom and Italian girls are starting to wear short shorts and tights. (Ew.)
That means I start to get my gelato groove on. I get it going on for a few months and then let it rest until fall. (Reasons as to why can be found in this previous post about one of the best gelato I’ve ever had. Ever.)
There has been one newcomer to the gelato scene in Naples that I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while. I noticed Mennella’s a while ago while shopping in the Vomero area of the city. With a bit of research, I found out Mennella isn’t actually new. It is a well-established pastry and ice cream store from Torre del Greco, just outside of Naples.
Trying to eye some of the flavors from outside on past trips, there was always one or two or five that caught my eye. Naturally, you all know me well enough already to know that these were flavors that featured local specialities and produce. Duh. They promise their gelato is made with 100% natural ingredients, but doesn’t everyone nowadays?
So, today, recovering from a sore throat and fever, I decided to treat myself with a little gelato. I decide on a medium cup with Vesuvian pine nut, pistachio, and orange flower. With whipped cream.
Overall, their ice cream is good. Good, but nothing special. It was creamy, but not as creamy as certain other stores in the area. The majority of their flavors don’t have pieces of fruit or nuts, which can be a positive or negative thing depending on how you prefer your gelato. I did appreciate how most of the flavors were pretty strong. Price wise, it is on par with just about all the other gelateria in the city.
Now let me break down the flavors. I did not like the pine nut flavor. I was expecting something pretty delicate, but it was the opposite. To me it tasted more like dried chestnuts, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. In all honesty, it could taste like pine nuts but I guess I haven’t ever eaten them by themselves really. Who has? I’ll make it a point to do that in the near future when I have enough money to buy pine nuts, those expensive little bastards. The orange flower flavor was very delicate. By itself it probably would have been good, but my other flavors overshadowed it big time. I still think it was too lightly flavored, for my tastes at least.The bar was set high by Ladurée’s most amazing orange flower ice cream, and Mennella didn’t come close. My favorite of the three was the pistachio. Actually, they should call it salty pistachio because it has a nice touch of salt in there. The pistachio flavor was strong and clean. There were no nuts in there either, which is something I generally prefer.
The only real downside was the whipped cream. Was it real whipped cream? Was it UHT whipped cream? The jury is still out on that one. I am leaning more towards UHT (long conservation) cream because it had a certain lightly waxy texture. I almost never get whipped cream, but I might make that a thing now. You know, just to test the quality.
Will I be back to Mennella? Yup. I still have to try their fruit sorbet, like the mela annurca. I wasn’t bowled over by the overall experience, but I’ll give them a second try.