The One Flavor You Should Judge An Italian Gelateria By

Who doesn't love ice cream, that creamy, frozen dessert that's especially nice to eat on a hot summer day? Americans surely do, as Statista reports that each person in the United States consumed 12.7 pounds of ice cream in 2020. It's hard to resist a scoop or two of ice cream, and although you might think that ice cream and gelato are the same, the truth is somewhat different. 

Healthline explains that gelato has a texture that's more silky and dense than regular ice cream, and it also contains less cream and fat. And there's usually a bit more concentrated flavor in gelato than in ice cream, so choose wisely. 

But whether you opt for ice cream or gelato, it must be hard to choose just one flavor. And there are so many of them, especially if you find yourself in an Italian gelateria: hazelnut, stracciatella, coffee, pistachio, lemon, and mint are just some of the flavors, and the list goes on and on. But there is one specific flavor that people typically choose when assessing the quality of an Italian gelateria.

Fior di latte gelato is used to assess the quality of a gelateria

If life ever brings you to an Italian gelateria, you should pick one flavor first: fior di latte, which translates to flower of milk. The name says it all, as this gelato flavor is made with high-quality cow's milk, cream, and sugar

This flavor is a staple in all good gelaterias because it's used as a starting point to assess the quality of the ice cream shop. Fior di latte is often used as a base for adding other flavors. So if this flavor is good, other gelato flavors in the same gelateria will also be good, explains Bon Appetit

And although fior di latte is excellent, it's also a bit basic. Rivareno reports that it's not among the most popular flavors for Italians — instead of fior di latte, Italians prefer lemon and strawberry during hot summer months. But why stop at gelato? There's so much more to try in Italy. For instance, consider the granita, a semi-frozen Sicilian treat made from fruit, sugar, and water, with a grainy, creamy texture (per La Cucina Italiana). If you've had enough gelato, give granita a try — your taste buds will thank you.