A staple in Italy, as many of you may know, is gelato. There's never a shortage of this sweet, refreshing dessert in Italy, especially in the big touristy cities such as Florence and Venice. But as much of it as exists in volume, it's unfortunately not all quality, and Paolo told us to look for gelato "artigianale" (artisanal) to identify the diamonds in the rough. In Florence, our helpful guide Grazia led us to a nice artigianale spot where we each had a delicious gelato in a cone, but in Venice I was on my own. Luckily, I bumped into Suso, a stylish gelato shop with the most intriguing flavor combinations.
A small shop on a quintessential Venetian, narrow street, its modern design and warm colors made me stop in my tracks. This is the opposite of a neon, gimmicky gelateria that often populates touristy cities. Suso was tasteful, interesting and communicated a high-end feel and product. I also liked the neat, little illustrations on the wall that gave it that edgy, artsy vibe.
I walked in to be immediately confronted by a rich offering of classic and inventive gelato flavors. Of course you had your basics such as hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio and vanilla, but there were also other interesting flavors such as frutta di bosco, panna cotta, mascarpone caffe and more. I went with the non-traditional route by choosing:
Orange/Dark Chocolate semifreddo and fig/walnut gelato - I really enjoyed the semifreddo option, since it's a lot softer and custardy than traditional gelato. This one included a sophisticated pairing of orange and dark chocolate, which go really well together. The richness in the chocolate dulled out the sharpness in the orange and the two complemented each other by producing a sweet and acidy flavor profile.
The fig and walnut gelato was something else. It was a lot gentler and even creamier than the semifreddo. I enjoyed the chunks of walnuts and the earthy fig aftertaste I got after each bite. It was an unusual pairing with the orange and chocolate, but I thought it worked since the latter was rather strong in taste and the former was gentler.
Not to mention that the gelato was served in a nifty little cone cup with a crunchy wafer too - it was a nice way to scoop up my frozen treat.
The aforementioned combination wasn't too expensive and was generally comparable to other gelato options I've seen at 2.50 Euro/portion.
Suso Gelato, Venezia Italy
For the life of me, I cannot locate this place on the web. If any of you find it, will you give me a shout? Thank you.