Saturday, August 3, 2013

REVIEW: Ciao Bella Key Lime Graham Gelato

Although I had seen cartons of Ciao Bella gelato before, it wasn’t until I discovered their Gelato Squares that I became really interested. Their Sea Salt Caramel, Belgian Chocolate S’mores and Key Lime Graham squares had all been among the best ice cream sandwiches I’d ever had, so when I finally found their Key Lime Graham flavor in a pint, I took full advantage. Most of their offerings seemed to be unexciting sorbets and fruity gelatos, but I had already discovered the deliciousness of their graham infused key lime base sandwiched between two soft wafers and was ready to taste even more without the accompanying cookies.

This super premium gelato contains a substantial 270 calories per serving; even more than the gelato squares sharing the same flavor. The first layer of Key Lime Graham is light in color and shows off plenty of the graham cracker flecks inside. The graham crackers haven’t been tossed in as a mix-in, or even a swirl, but have been blended directly into the Key Lime gelato to build on both the taste and texture. Even without an extended thaw time to allow the gelato to soften, Ciao Bella’s Key Lime Graham scoops out with ease. The velvety feel as I pull my metal scoop through the first few inches has me reminiscing on my last experience with this stuff.

Each bite starts out smooth and sweet before slowly incorporating that signature sourness provided by the key limes. The graham cracker built into every spoonful not only adds an interesting texture, but also gives enough flavoring to sway the overall taste towards key lime pie. Even though this doesn’t state to be an interpretation of key lime pie, the graham cracker aspect impersonates the crust particularly well. The result is a well-balanced taste with enough texture to keep your taste buds occupied for multiple servings in a sitting. While I still prefer the Gelato Squares over the base only offering, Ciao Bella does key lime much better than most.

Where I Found It: Ingles Markets
Grade: B


  1. Personally I enjoyed this over many other Key Lime icecreams/gelatos

    1. As did I. With the exception of maybe Phin & Phebes Coconut Key Lime, this would be the front runner as far as key lime goes.

  2. This has long been one of my favorites. It's the perfect pucker-level of tart, and the grit of the graham cracker (crumbs? dust?) is assertive without being chunky and distracting. The only other Ciao Bella flavors I've tried are the malted milk ball gelato (underwhelming, considering how much of a sucker I am for malt flavors) and the blood orange sorbet (not my thing).

    1. Exactly. Companies tend to find it hard to find that "perfect pucker-level" you speak of and this one does it better than most. Judging from your feelings towards their other flavors, I may have found the best one of the bunch.


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