15 uncommon gelato and ice cream flavors around Berkeley

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Michaela Swensen/Staff

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There are a plethora of unique gelato and ice cream shops around campus, ready to spoil students with their delicious and freshly made desserts. What flavor should you get? Strawberry? Chocolate? Nah, you had chocolate last time. Maybe it’s time to spice up your routine.

We’re glad you think so, and we’ve got just the thing for you. Below are 15 unique flavors from various gelato and ice cream shops around town. Many of these places switch out their flavors frequently, so make sure to try them before they’re gone!

1. Chinese five spices (Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, 3173 College Ave.)

This creamy, zesty and spicy flavor brings an immediate cinnamon flavor to the taste buds. Even though the flavor sounds like it belongs in a Chinese restaurant dish, the spices work quite well in ice cream. It tastes a little like chai tea … or maybe rice pudding sprinkled with cinnamon on top? It’s sweet and creamy but not overly sugary.

2. Saffron (Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, 3173 College Ave.)

If you don’t know what saffron is, it’s a spice derived from a flower called saffron crocus. It’s traditionally a Persian spice, and the resulting yellow ice cream has an earthy taste that’s not too sweet. It’s especially refreshing after a heavy meal.

3. Rooibos tea (Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, 3173 College Ave.)

Rooibos tea is a caffeine-free tea made from the South African red bush. The taste is naturally sweet and slightly nutty, and the ice cream is sweeter than both the Chinese five spices and saffron.

4. Ricotta lemon zest (Lush Gelato, 1511 Shattuck Ave.)

The delicious and refreshing flavor of this gelato is both creamy and enlightening. The name reminds us of the lemon ricotta pancakes at Venus Restaurant, which we’re kind of in love with. The gelato left a ricotta cheese aftertaste with a hint of lemon, but neither flavors are too bold and complement each other perfectly.

5. Cardamom orange (Lush Gelato, 1511 Shattuck Ave.)

Cardamom orange lies on the spicier side of flavor selections. We suggest having it as a mid-afternoon snack. It might be a little overwhelming after a fulfilling, rich meal, but the cardamom shines as it fills your mouth with a cinnamon-like taste.

6. Brown sugar rum (Lush Gelato, 1511 Shattuck Ave.)

This is a flavor for those who enjoy alcohol-flavored sweets. The full-bodied rum flavor explodes in the mouth at first bite and leaves a rum aftertaste. The brown sugar is less noticeable, but it’s still yummy.

7. Vanilla lemon curd and chocolate chunks (Lush Gelato, 1511 Shattuck Ave.)

This weirdly attractive ice cream is a creamy off-white color with golden chunks of lemon curd and chocolate. Curd is a dairy product made by coagulating milk with any edible acidic substance and then allowing it to set.

8. Toasted almond with caramelized fig (Almare Gelato, 2170 Shattuck Ave.)

This flavor is perfect for those with a real sweet tooth. Surprisingly, the almond makes the gelato sweet rather than nutty, and this definitely overpowers the subtle fig flavor.

9. Dalmatian rose (Almare Gelato, 2170 Shattuck Ave.)

This tastes like what roses smell like. It’s delightfully fragrant, so you’ll leave Almare’s giving off an invigorating floral scent.

10. Lavender blackberries (Almare Gelato, 2170 Shattuck Ave.)

This purple-hued gelato tastes more strongly of lavender than of blackberries. In general, we would say Almare does a great job blending floral tastes. The lavender tastes genuine, reminding us of the fragrant lavender fields in southern France. The blackberries add a slight tangy and fruity accent, which balances the rich, aromatic lavender.

11. Creme fraiche with pear caramel (Smitten Ice Cream, 5800 College Ave.)

Smitten’s September flavor is a slightly tangy creme fraiche. It would probably taste unoriginal and bland without the pear caramel, but the drizzled caramel adds a subtle and bright pear taste to the ice cream.

12. Brown sugar with cinnamon cookies (Smitten Ice Cream, 5800 College Ave.)

This flavor has a crunchy texture and is similar to cinnamon-crumble coffee cake. The cinnamon cookies provide a contrast with the perfectly smooth and creamy texture of the ice cream.

13. Cardamom-rose (Ici Ice Cream, 2948 College Ave.)

The combination is a good way to balance out sweet and spicy. The classically fragrant rose complements the zesty cardamom kick, producing a unique flavor split.

14. Toasted coconut Thai tea (Ici Ice Cream, 2948 College Ave.)

Thai tea is a strong Ceylon tea. Known for its golden color and strong rich flavor, Ceylon tea is originally from Sri Lanka, and the combination with coconut makes for a good balance of sweets.

15. Black rice coconut ice milk (Ici Ice Cream, 2948 College Ave.)

 

 

 

Contact Annie Chang at [email protected].