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Taste test: caramel gelato

For the first time this year, the Taster's Choice Hall of Fame has a new inductee. When it comes to frozen treats, gelato is definitely the new black. We sampled four brands with caramel as the common ingredient and our favorite received at least 90 out of 100 points to win a spot in the Hall of Fame. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Haagen-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato 93Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato 83Archer Farms Caramel Biscotti Gelato 80Ciao Bella Gelato Sea Salt Caramel Squares 62
Judges'

comments
Raving about this sea salt caramel gelato, one judge described the treat as "rich, deep, with profoundly compelling caramel swirled through a light, bouncy gelato." Another called it sinful. "It's got lovely smooth texture with ribbons of lush caramel and good flavor," said one judge, adding that she wouldn't mind a little more burnt sugar in the flavor as well. "I would definitely serve this — even at a dinner party," she said.Talenti's gelato had a darker color than the others, likely because of the yummy, large chunks of chocolate in the blend. "The chocolate bits are addictive," said one judge. "This is a rich chocolate and caramel treat with a chunky surprise," said another. One panelist compared the caramel flavor to a warm caramel apple. "It's got a creamy texture that melts in your mouth," she said.While this brand has caramel taste, it takes a backseat to the vanilla and creme brulee flavors. "It's got a nice edge of coconut as well," said one judge. "This is buttery and light," said another. "It hits a sweet spot that goes for the jugular — something usually not found in gelatos." One judge said the ending had a pleasing, tangy taste.The gelato in this brand was in between two cookie wafers that added a bit of crunch to the texture. Judges would have preferred the gelato on its own, but they appreciated the combination of flavors. The gelato was a bit heavier, perhaps to support the cookies. "The caramel isn't overly discernible but the gelato is lush and sweet and the cookie is nice and soft," said one panelist. "The not-too-crisp chocolate wafer bookends are filled with soft streams of caramel rippling through this vivid gelato," said another. "I love it."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.95 for a 14-ounce container from

Sweetbay.
$4.69 for one pint from Sweetbay.$4.99 for a 30-ounce container from Target. $3.99 for a box of four 4-ounce squares from Walmart.


Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving sizeHalf cupHalf cupHalf cupOne square
Calories270240130250
Fat/Fiber11g / 0g11g / 0g6g / 0g11g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium29g / 150mg36g / 190mg16g / 45mg21g / 140mg
Carbs/Protein38g / 4g38g / 4g28g / 2g36g / 4g

Taste test: caramel gelato 10/21/13 [Last modified: Monday, October 21, 2013 5:15pm]
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