When I make the trip to The Fresh Market, it's typically to track down a flavor from Graeter's, Jeni's or Three Twins, but recently I've begun to take notice of the pints above. It turns out that The Fresh Market has started marketing their own brand of gelato with a handful of standard flavors, and even limited-editions, one of which being Sweet & Spiced Gingerbread. Previous to this point, the only gelato I've covered has come in the form of Talenti, but they've set a high standard, so we'll see how The Fresh Market's new line holds up to the competition. Considering the facts that aesthetics matter in ice cream, I approve of the exterior design on these simple, straight-forward cartons. Bold, contrasting font couples with a bright polka-dotted brim to easily display what the consumer can expect to encounter inside.
The short and sweet summary on the backside of the carton promises a custom blend of bits of gingerbread cookies and spices and to get it while you can because this Limited Edition flavor won't last forever! Not only will this be my first experience with The Fresh Market's brand of gelato, this will also be my first time tasting a gingerbread base. Even Gingerbread House from Blue Bell chose a cinnamon ice cream to act as the foundation of their flavor. After removing the vividly decorated lid, the coffee-colored first layer looks uncomplicated. The 210 calories per serving this contains is typical of the selections available from Talenti.
As I scoop some out of the pint, The Fresh Market's gelato seems to have a slightly thicker consistency than that of Talenti's. But after my first bite, this shares the same velvety feel that differentiates well-made gelato from ice cream. Although the feel is the first thing I notice, the taste is equally as impressive. The front end of the flavor comes from the heavy usage of ginger, eventually fading away into a nice blend of sugar and holiday-spices. With an appropriate balance of sweetness and gingerbread spices, this just seems to get better as I go. Seeing as how The Fresh Market makes quality and freshness a priority in other aspects of their stores, it comes as no surprise that their gelato exudes attributes associated with using only the freshest of ingredients.
To my chagrin, it took eating nearly an entire serving before I began to run into these remnants of real gingerbread. I had already settled for the fact that this was a base-only offering, with no mix-ins to be found, but if this flavor had featured huge hunks of the authentic gingerbread picture above, this would have had a strong argument to break into the top tier. These streaks added a noticeable textural difference, adding a chewy quality to each bite that happened to contain a bit. Although Sweet & Spiced Gingerbread could have been better with bigger pieces of gingerbread, this has intrigued me enough to not ignore The Fresh Market options, despite sharing the same shelf with heavy hitters such as Graeter's and Jeni's.
Where I Found It: The Fresh Market