Wednesday, June 3, 2015

REVIEW: Graeter's Bananas Foster Gelato, Black Raspberry Gelato, and Toasted Coconut Gelato

Along with the spectacular pint of Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip ice cream we received from Graeter's, we also had a chance to take a look at some of their new gelato selections: Bananas Foster, Black Raspberry, Toasted Coconut.

We'd been able to get our hands on a few of the standard gelato flavors such as Caramel Truffle, which we reviewed a while back, but these would serve to see how their gelato could do without the assistance of Graeter's chocolate mix-ins. The first layer of each of the three pints looked equally as impressive, and after letting the pints sit out for a while to thaw to the proper conistency, we were ready to begin the testing.

We started our exploration with the pint of Bananas Foster gelato and the one I was most excited about. Grater's says this, "Inspired by the famous dessert, we start with creamy, ripened bananas. It’s frozen to perfection then loaded with our secret recipe of brown sugar & butter rum candy pieces that creates a sauce as it melts over time into the gelato." Even the first layer of Bananas Foster showed exactly what the description prepared us for, which were soft, slighly runny bits of butter rum candy that paired perfectly with the flavorful, banana gelato. The addition of brown sugar and flavoring from the sauce created by the melted butter rum candy sat this one apart from a standard banana base. Unfortunately after having the Bananas Foster flavor from New Orleans Ice Cream Co. however, it would have been unfair to give this gelato the same A grade for a less effective result using an identical concept.

Grade: B

The second pint we decided to dig into was the Black Raspberry gelato. Their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, perhaps their most well known flavor, served as our introduction to Graeter's and immediately made us fans for life. "Our world-famous black raspberries without the chocolate chips gives the purest expression of this dynamic flavor. Our most requested product of all-time is finally available in this one-of-a-kind gelato." Unfortunately for this flavor, the exclusion of their signature chocolate chips had me yearning for more after only a few bites. While the black raspberry gelato was smooth, full of berry flavor, and similar tasting to its ice cream counterpart, I'd have a hard time picking this Black Raspberry Gelato over their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Grade: B

The carton that we saved for last was Toasted Coconut, "Toasty coconut gives this gelato a satisfying, nutty-coconut eating experience. Sprinkled throughout with real shredded toasted coconut for enhanced flavor and stunning visual appeal." We've had plenty of great coconut inspired frozen desserts such as Carribean Coconut Gelato from Talenti and Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream from Phin & Phebes, but Graeter's Toasted Coconut Gelato was able to hold its own with some of the best we've had. The top-notch texture and complex toasted coconut flavors left this one sitting at the head of the gelato trio we tried.

Grade: A

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