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Ice-cream shops are all different, and it’s not easy to find true homemade ice cream. Here's how to recognize the best ice cream and where to find the right locations in the city centre.
Let’s dispel a myth: not all ice cream shops offer homemade ice cream. To qualify as homemade, the ice cream must be whisked on site – either with fresh products or ready-made bases. It is easy to tell the difference, and in recent years, many ice cream shops have been focusing on quality, serving the Milanese the taste of fresh milk and cream, seasonal fruit and unusual and pleasant flavour combinations. Creativity at its best.
Great ice cream can be identified with a quick glance at the display. It’s best to avoid ice cream parlours displaying perfect tubs of brightly coloured, creamy ice cream in dozens of out-of-season flavours ranging from strawberries in winter and tangerine in the summer. Instead, favour the ice cream presented in closed containers which maintain the temperature, with a compact and difficult-to-handle texture indicating it is made without emulsifiers. Subtle colours are a good sign that the ice cream contains no food colouring, and seasonal flavours are usually a guarantee the product was made with fresh produce. See what we mean by visiting these popular gelaterie in Milan.
Right behind Piazza Duomo, this ice cream parlour is a lifeline in a city centre dominated by bars offering cones and cups of dubious nature. Thickeners, emulsifiers, fats other than milk or dried fruit are not used here. Classic flavours and delicious vegan, dairy-free sorbets, in fruit flavours as well as pistachio, coffee, chocolate and hazelnut are available. The brioche is actually a slow rising scone, filled with scoops of ice cream.
After the Pavè pastry shop, the three guys opened their award-winning ice cream shop. Here, there are a few classic flavours and many experiments, so don’t be surprised to find avocado, barley, bell pepper and crazy limited edition flavours to have fun with. Aside from ice cream, Pavè serves an amazing selection brioches, breads and other baked goods – so delicious in fact, that they’ve created dedicated ice cream flavours to sbrisolona cake, bread, butter and jam and tarte tatin.
Are you looking for a delicious ice cream in the Navigli District? This is a true treasure hunt, as this ice cream parlour looks like any other from the outside. The quality, however, is incomparable, and the ice cream is served in a waffle cone. A few flavours, displayed in a traditional way, with a love for creams and hearty textures. Extra whipped cream is free, for the ultimate treat.
The sign reads “ice cream as it once was”, but it is not true; Grom is now an international chain where the ice cream is not made on site but delivered through an intelligent system from the headquarters in Turin. But it is good, certainly better than 90% of the ice cream shops in Milan which call themselves “artisanal”. The ingredients are highly selected and there is a great number of ice cream parlors around the city. There’s always a Grom nearby if you want to indulge in a nice cone. You can easily spot it, too; just look for the long queue of people.