Twelve outstanding gelato chefs descended upon Jersey City’s Liberty State Park August 11-12th, 2018 and brought with them their most delicious creamy creations. It was here in this eclectic and repurposed train station terminal that they battled it out to win over passersby and be championed gelato ‘kings and queens’ in this stage of the national Gelato Festival America competition. And it was here I found myself stuck in the middle of fist fulls of gelato scoops, one sugary heap after the other, tasting and carefully contemplating which of the lot I would personally deem the best.
Difficult though the task was for myself and my fellow gelato tasters in choosing the greatest flavors, a handful of artisans left quite a lasting impression and set me on a course of passionate gelato cravings for years to come.
The Foodist Top 3 Gelato Flavors of the Day
While all the gelato chefs where impressive at their craft, below are my highlights of the best gelato flavors I encountered at the Jersey City stage of the Gelato Festival America. I made sure to meet one-on-one with the gelato chefs and get to know them a bit better. For the flavors which most intrigued me, I decided to document my short interaction with them (shared below). I ended up making some great friends with talented gelato masters in the process and will certainly be paying their shops a visit for more gelato!
Italian Blueberry Cheesecake by Gemelli, Artisanal Gelato & Dessert Café
Chef: Vincenzo Tettamanti
Location: 12 W Market St. West Chester, Pennsylvania
This luscious “Italian version of an American classic”, aptly described by gelato scientist Vincenzo Tettamanti, won me over for its remarkable flavor profile. Replete with fresh mascarpone cheese gelato, handcrafted seasonal New Jersey blueberry compote and a crumble of signature “pasta
Vincenzo was kind enough to share with me that his approach for making exceptional gelato was in both the quality ingredients and traditional hot process where he pasteurizes his gelato base and builds the flavors from there.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the West Chester Pennsylvania area near Gemelli I highly recommend you stop in his shop and get yourself some of this decadent gelato.
Jersey Blues Pistachio by Scafide Gelato
Chef: John Scafide
Location: Washington Township, New Jersey
Sicilian pistachios are fused with fresh local blueberries from Hammonton, New Jersey then mixed in handcrafted blueberry syrup and crunchy pistachio glaze coming together to form a stunning salty and savory flavor combination in this gelato. You can taste the freshness in these locally sourced blueberries which contrast nicely with pistachio.
Chef John explained he pays close attention to the whole milk he uses in his gelato and the consistency that the gelato must be. It should not be too hard like ice cream. You can find Scafide Gelato and chef John’s other gelato flavors in the Washington Township New Jersey area.
Dark Chocolate Surprise by Polosud Gelato Coffee
Chef: Giacomo d’Alessandro
Location: 166 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, USA
Rich and delicious this gelato is a chocolate lover’s dream. You will find yourself eating endless amounts of this gelato. 80% dark Chocolate from South America with a little bitter infusion, presented in a dark component, this is actually a Sorbetto as the remaining 20% is water.
I found myself also stopping back here at least three times to get more of this gelato. As simple as it seemed it was wonderful in execution. The flavors were intense and sweet.
Chef Giacomo d’Alessandro won over the crowds and panelists in Jersey City as well and his Dark Chocolate Surprise flavor was awarded best of this stage in the national competition.
I will be stopping back in at the Polosud Gelato shop in New York City very soon for some more!
Bonus: Cara’s Cucina, Cara Di Falco
In addition to meeting some gifted gelato chefs at the
For more on the gelato festival including future stages and stops check out the official Gelato Festival America website here.