18 Jun2007

Gelateria GROM…

by Marketman

grom1

During our recent holiday in New York City, a gelateria on the West side of Manhattan opened to tremendous fanfare and media coverage. Even before they opened their doors, there was tremendous anticipation in a city that is pretty hard to impress foodwise. Gelateria GROM has enjoyed phenomenal recognition in Italy (though we were enamored instead with Il Gelato San Crispino during our Italian trip last year) for superb gelato in innovative flavors using the finest of ingredients. GROM apparently received favorable mention from the TV personality Katie Couric while she was broadcasting the Winter Olympics last year from Italy, giving them brand exposure to hundreds of millions of Americans with one comment on television… Since The Kid considers one of her primary goals in life is to taste as much ice cream and gelato as she possibly can (enough to place her in the Guiness Book of World Records), she was definitely game for a long wait in line to sample what GROM had brought to New York.

My sister and The Kid lined up at GROM just a few days after it opened and while there, sampled some of their classic flavors like Crema di Grom. They also brought home four containers of ice cream for the rest of the family to try. Unfortunately, there was a massive traffic jam in New York that afternoon and the ice cream got a little soft and despite a nap in the freezer, it was probably only 90% of its original self by the time we got to taste it. The overall verdict? Very good… but not spectacular. The pistachio flavor was one of the finest I have ever had. It possessed a flavor so like eating a cold creamy pistachio and a color that screamed all-natural. It was utterly delicious. The strawberries and cream flavor was good but not exceptional. The chocolate good and tiramisu a bit of a disappointment. All were wickedly expensive. Mrs. Marketman seemed to prefer Il Gelato San Crispino better (more interesting and cleaner flavors) and she even put her vote in for Il Laboratorio del Gelato (a homegrown New York shop) before GROM. The Kid thought GROM was pretty good, but stated confidently that “the gelato in Italy was far better overall…” So there. That’s the Marketman & Family report on the chicest gelateria to open in New York this year! Gelateria GROM in Manhattan at 2165 Broadway at 76th Street.

Still craving a gelato or helado? Check out some of these previous posts on the topic…
Il Laboratorio del Gelato, New York
Gelati, Florence
Il Gelato San Crispino, Rome
Helado, Barcelona
Cacao Sampaka, Barcelona
Tartufo at Piazza Navona, Rome

 

COMMENTS:

  1. suzette says:

    i’m wondering how far are the gelatos in amici de don bosco from these gelatos mm? on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest

    Jun 18, 2007 | 2:47 pm

     
  2. Trin says:

    MM, would you know where I can buy plain frozen yogurt or yogurt flavored gelato here in Metro Manila? (not the BTIC stuff!)

    Also, which ice cream makers you would recommend for home use? Am getting desperate enough to make yogurt ice cream at home!

    And last… what’s the difference between gelato, ice cream, frozen custard, soft serve, etc? ultimately, which is the best ‘carrier’ for the ff flavors – chocolate, pistachio, vanilla, raspberry/mixed berry.

    Thanks.

    Jun 18, 2007 | 3:28 pm

     
  3. mikelinparis says:

    hey MM. have had GROM & san crispino during visits to florence & milan. really good but am fond of amorino right here in paris. must have some next you’re in town. when will that be?

    Jun 18, 2007 | 3:47 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Trin, those questions would require several posts to answer properly, but here is the short answer version. Ice cream is predominantly churned (mixed) cream/milk and it tends to have more air than gelato. Gelato is similar to ice cream but creamier and denser (less air) generally. I find gelatos in Italy/Spain (helados) tend to have more intense flavors than western ice creams. Pinoy ice creams in the grocery should actually have another name, like “air with cream” as they are MORE air than American confections, and usually have a lot of filler like seaweed based carageenan (western commercial ice creams have this too)… I have a large white mountain traditional ice cream maker… will find post where there is a photograph of it and put link here. I also bought a small ice cream maker in the U.S. this last trip but it is in a balikbayan box as I type. I think it was a Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid home ice cream maker. Btw, the stuff in Mcdonalds is not ice cream, it has no cream I understand… the densest thickest ice cream or gelatos are always for me the best vehicle for those flavors… I buy my yogurt at S&R Price in Fort Bonifacio. Frozen yogurt at Santis Yakal St. Mikel, how I would love a month in Paris, but its not in the plans yet. There used to be a fairly well thought of ice cream place that has sprouted all over the city, they had a branch on the island in the middle of the river…oh, Berthillon, is that still any good? I HAVE to try this Amorino. I like it when folks have tasted all the competition becuase thats the only way to get guided to the really good stuff. I think European ice creams in general are better because their fruit purees and extractions are more intense! Suzette, if the gelatos I write about above are in the say 8-8.75 range, then the Amicis are about 5.5-6.0. I think the local gelatos use pre-packaged mixes of cream and flavors so they don’t seem as rich as the fresher ones in Europe. Also, the quality of the fruit flavor in some of these high end places in Italy, France & Spain are just absolutely fantastic. I had a blackberry gelato in Italy once that I would have traded a small body part for a lifetime supply… Grocery ice cream here would be in the 2-3.5 range, the higher end only because of the fruit flavors like mango, atis, macapuno and ube…

    Jun 18, 2007 | 3:54 pm

     
  5. Mangaranon says:

    Worthy of mention is the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Bayard Street and Sant Ambroeus on the Upper East Side/West Village.

    Jun 18, 2007 | 7:05 pm

     
  6. macpower says:

    hi mm, thanks for this ice cream education. moreso, if amicis are about 5.5-6.0, grom at 8.0-8.75, grocery ice creams (magnolia, selecta, nestle, etc.) would be 2.0-3.5, how would you classify say “haagen dazs” and “FIC (fruits in ice cream)?would be interested to know how you wil rate them. maybe a full blog on ice cream rants and raves..thanks!

    Jun 19, 2007 | 12:29 am

     
  7. Bea Tenchavez says:

    Hi MarketMan, I went to GROM near the Duomo in Florence. It is one of my fave gelaterias in Florence next to Vivoli and Vestri. The best flavors are the extra noir, pistachio and crema di Grom. I think the quality is excellent and the freshness of the ingredients are evidently present. You can see the difference in taste, quality and texture compared to other random gelaterias where gelatos are colorfully displayed.

    Jun 19, 2007 | 1:16 am

     
  8. Maria Clara says:

    Anything good is a crowd drawer and well-spent time in line not only for taste experience but also to fulfill our own level of expectations.

    Jun 19, 2007 | 3:32 am

     
  9. Mavic says:

    Coincidentally I also posted an article about Grom over the weekend (http://mavic.blogspot.com/2007/06/grom-gelato.html)!

    Jun 19, 2007 | 6:49 am

     
  10. Mila says:

    Excerpt from World of Ice Cream (worldoficecream.com): “Premium ice creams are made with fresh cream (not condensed or powdered milk), real eggs, and natural flavorings. Quality ingredients aside, lesser ice creams also have more air whipped in. As much as half the carton may be air, in fact. More air–or “overrun”–means softer ice cream that scoops more easily and melts more quickly. Premium ice creams have very little air added; gelato has no air added at all. (There’s a minimal amount of air that’s incorporated naturally because of the churning process.)

    “Gelato and some premium ice creams are so dense that they require a slightly higher serving temperature, a perfect point where your scoop is firm but not hard and not so soft that it melts immediately. Gelato recipes usually include more egg yolks, more milk and less cream. It actually has less fat than regular ice cream, but gelato’s low overrun makes for an extremely dense, rich and creamy treat.”

    Frozen custard is also a less airy version of ice cream, making it denser, creamier, and usually needs a higher serving temperature (only 20% air vs ice cream; usually served at 26 degrees Fahrenheit vs 10 degrees for ice cream). Marketman, if you ever go to Milwaukee, try Kopps or Ted Drewes (St. Louis, MI) Frozen Custard. I still remember an apple frozen custard from Kopps back in 1992! That was how memorable it was! Personally, I think gelato and frozen custards are better fruit based carriers than ice cream; perhaps the additional air in ice cream makes it hard for the fruit flavors to stick.

    Jun 19, 2007 | 8:47 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Mavic, thanks for that tip, will check out your post! macpower, I like it a rating scale for ice cream with 1 on the left and 10 on the right and all the ones I have tried listed along the line….heeheehee, a bit nasty in a way. At any rate, I taste these ice creams at different times, but my rought guess is that I would put most haagen daz at about 7 and I mostly eat the FIC no sugar flavors (so maybe thats not a good gauge) and I would put them at about a 5-5.5 maybe? Actually, the best one to ask is The Kid who inhales ice cream like it is oxygen…

    Jun 19, 2007 | 8:50 am

     
  12. Randy says:

    Hope you don’t mind a technical observation. I’ve been having trouble reading those comments that have a green background, and I think it’s because I turned on the MS ClearType option that makes text easier to read on LCD screens. When I turned it off, the problem went away.

    With regards to gelatos and ice cream, I hope someone will try to make one here using pure carabao’s milk and cream. Buffalo milk is far tastier than cow’s milk and should yield a superior product.

    Jun 19, 2007 | 1:00 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Randy, you are correct… also in some version of explorer, the text on the green background disappears…it re-appears if you scroll up and down…its a minor technical glitch that I can’t personally figure out but my techie guy is too busy at the moment to correct it… The old Arce ice cream did use carabao’s milk at one point, but I don’t know if they still do…

    Jun 19, 2007 | 4:15 pm

     
  14. mikelinparis says:

    yes MM. berthillon is still around. but it’s only famous ‘cuz it’s been around for a long time and french made. would rather have haagen daz or ben & jerry’s anytime. and yes, among all the gelaterias in paris, amorinos is tops!

    Jun 19, 2007 | 8:54 pm

     
  15. Sister says:

    Will check out Amorino’s versus Berthillion next weekend. Where is Amorino’s located?

    Jun 20, 2007 | 5:50 am

     
  16. MasPinaSarap says:

    Yesssssss Grommmmm!
    I waited in line for almost an hour on opening day to eat this and it was worth every second!

    Jun 20, 2007 | 6:15 am

     
  17. homaygess says:

    MM- speaking of new york holidays, did you ever try the much-talked about fro-yo sensation – pinkberry? i’ve been hearing and reading so many things about it, calling it “crackberry” for being so addicting.

    Jun 20, 2007 | 5:33 pm

     
  18. Marketman says:

    homaygess, sorry, didn’t get a chance to try fro-yos… aridelros, you are correct, the more cream the closer it gets to the gelato assignation… no cream such as Mcdonals soft white stuff is called flurries…

    Jun 21, 2007 | 8:35 am

     
  19. Randy says:

    MM, soft serve does contain milkfat, though in much lesser quantity than regular ice cream. The reason for the lower fat content is the high amount of air in the soft serve product, but I suspect that milkfat has been replaced by vegetable oil in some cases for economic reasons.

    Jun 21, 2007 | 7:45 pm

     
  20. Marketman says:

    Randy, you are absolutely correct, I always believed that apparently apocryphal story that mcdonalds shakes had no milk…therefor their name shakes… but a quick google yielded this page from mcdonald’s that lists the ingredients of all their products…it’s actually very interesting and yes, the soft serve type desserts do indeed contain milk… thanks for that!

    Jun 21, 2007 | 9:07 pm

     
  21. Marghi says:

    mm, I agree with you about San Crispino being better than Grom ….I think their melone and trademark honey-flavored san cispino special is clean , crisp and light…on your next trip there, try the tiny Trattoria Suor Lucia 2 doors away from the gelateria , Ita a simple, tiny place recommended by a Roman avvocato who sat beside us at dinner some 8 years ago at another restaurant that served bistecca fiorentina close to the VAtican…We asked him where we could eat well and be around locals and he shared his favorite secret eating place….also try Vivoli in Florence for gelato…this was already an institution especially for students in Florence when I was there in 1987 and its so nice to see that it has not changed…a few blocks away from the imposing Piazza Santa Croce…this was my neighborhood when I lived there and is just a magical little secret pocket of that city…If you ever find yourself in Milano, try Chocolat for the best chocolate gelato in 18 different concentrations and blends of chocolate….be ready to line up for a bit…think your family will be floored…i am not a chocolate person, but I was floored…their fragola was awesome too…

    Aug 11, 2007 | 2:36 am

     
 

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