Prior to picking up my first pint of Talenti Gelato, there had been quite a bit of hype surrounding the newfound success of this brand. The flavor that had been attracting the most attention had sounded pretty sensational, but I'm not one to be tricked with a fancy name and some European styling. Sea Salt Caramel sounds straightforward enough, but there had to be something exciting underneath that screw off lid that had people buzzing. I was impressed from the start simply by the styling. A clear jar with a resealable, twist-off lid, a clean label and no distracting pictures. The fact that the first ingredient listed is caramel should have been a clear clue that there was bound to be something special hiding inside.
They describe their Sea Salt Caramel as a succulent rich golden Argentinean caramel base brought even further to life with Fleur De Sel sea salt "the caviar of salts". Talenti then bestows luxury and refinement to this trendy new flavor by adding chocolate covered sea salt truffles; completing the masterpiece. Soon after unscrewing the lid, I was greeted by a sprinkling of sea salt sitting exposed on the top layer. It certainly smelled of caramel, but it looked so unassuming. My spoon glided across the gelato with ease, collecting gobs of the caramel ice cream as it melted into itself until a spoon full was formed. I deposited the plain looking camel-colored ice cream into my mouth and then things got interesting.
The texture of the gelato was absolutely indescribable. I've never experienced anything even remotely similar to the velvety feel of Talenti's sea salt caramel base. The saltiness comes first, but is immediately rushed away by the sweetness of the caramel. As my spoon glides through again and again to collect more, my spoon comes across an obstruction. I push harder to see what's restricting my imminent pleasure. A small cube of chocolate pops up and out of the caramel gelato, followed by a few more, exposing caramel truffles that had remained hidden until now.
Layer upon layer of these mini, caramel-filled truffles are thrown about the sinfully smooth gelato. These lavish, little bundles of joy do their best impersonation of upscale Rolo candies. They're deep, dark, delicate and delicious. The caramel base ice cream can carry this flavor all by it's lonesome, but add this squadron of sweet truffles and it teeters on perfection.
This has arguably set the bar for the absolute best a frozen treat can be. A perfect example of how sometimes simple flavors, done really well, are much better than their more involved counterparts. This one won't have many competitors. I've tried salty selections from many other manufacturers, but this sets the standard. If you haven't tried Talenti's Sea Salt Caramel, no need to explore the blog any further. Start with this one.
Where I Found It: Ingles Markets