They Blinded Her With Science: Laboratorio del Gelato (A Poem)

When young Clotilde devoured New York

she went to a spot-o

that I hadn’t been yet

where they sell gelato.

On the Lower East Side

near Katz’s deli

Walk south on Orchard

Hear the growl in your belly.

Outside it’s humid

you feel yourself sag

“Gee, how much further?”

Aha! Here’s the flag!

Inside it’s tiny

I thought it would be big

Just a white shiny counter

With no room to jig.

“Can I help you?” said a voice

“One moment,” I requested

Clotilde had picked two winners

she wouldn’t have me bested.

“Banana,” I concluded,

“and coconut: small cup.”

I watched him scoop the scoops in

and fill that small cup up.

Outside it was raining

the patter was real soft

“Here’s to great gelato!”

I said as I held my spoon aloft.

I bit and tasted and swallowed and thought

and I tasted and swallowed some more;

Is this top one banana or coconut?

My tastebuds were at war.


I snapped a blurry picture

appropriate enough

since my taste experience

was causing me to huff:

“It’s creamy and rich but muted

these flavors are so lame!

I wanted taste explosions

Damn, this is so tame.”

In fact I couldn’t finish–

into the trash it went.

So much for great gelato

this laboratorio is spent.

12 thoughts on “They Blinded Her With Science: Laboratorio del Gelato (A Poem)”

  1. Woopsy, sorry this didn’t deliver… Although I must say, I would never have chosen these two flavors — just not my taste in ice-cream. It would be interesting to know what you would think about the ones that I had, should you ever go back! But also, I’ve never made my own ice-cream, and with all the fabulous kinds you’ve churned out, maybe you’ve set too high a standard for all the others!

  2. Bummer. I’ve only been once and had a great experience. I’d give it another shot, and this time try the honey lavender ones. Yum. The basics, vanilla and mint chip are also quite good.

  3. I think you should give the lab another shot. I haven’t gone in a while but I loved the hazelnut and the kiwi. Tons of flavor and definitely did not disappoint. I’m not sure if it will measure up to your Barefoot Contessa ice cream but it will definitely be top grade gelato.

  4. Mmmm, me thinks of the Gelateria Parmalat on Lincoln Rd. in South Beach- of which I am a huge fan- and feel there is not a better gelato out there (at least in the US, errr at least in a store-like… cafe… shop in the US, oh you know what I mean!)

    I’m convinced one of these near DuPont Circle here in DC would be the shizzle, and a big a** moneymaker, clearly! :-)

  5. Speaking of the Barefoot Contessa ice cream–I made that recipe about a month ago and it NEVER EVER hardened. I was using a Cuisinart gel canister ice cream maker, the gel was frozen-hard, but yet the ice cream remained soft and goopy in the freezer. I know it’s supposed to stay soft, but this was virtually inedible. Almost all of it got tossed down the drain. What did I do wrong?

  6. Your ordered wrong my friend. This place is right in my hood and a frequent haunt. We’ve got lots of warm days left this year, I suggest you give it another go.

  7. wow.

    Just your choice of flavors (I mean, out of all the flavors they have) shows you are absolutly clueless.

    I suggest you stick with the Mister Softee truck.

  8. Dark Chocolate Sorbet

    They rarely have it, but when they do, grab it. Pair it with something nutty like hazelnut gelato.

    The best.

  9. i enjoyed your poem very much but was sad about your experience. the “LAB” is my place and we are so dedicated to our product that it pains me when i hear of a bad experience. first, i have to echo that the two flavors you chose were not meant to “explode” in your mouth. those are somewhat subtle flavors. have you ever eaten a piece of coconut or a ripe banana that gave you such a sensation? we very much try to be true to the fruit. we use ripe bananas (alot!) and organic coconut extract and organic coconut. i hope you return, and have another try. this weekend alone we are making a fresh fig gelato, peach gelato and sorbet, red plum and black plum sorbet, strawberry and raspberry sorbets and gelati, pineapple sorbet, pear sorbet, nectarine sorbet. many of those are fruits that will elicit a taste “explosion”. also, our nuts flavors are certainly worth a try…toasted almond (we roast the nuts ourselves), pistachio, walnut, macadamia, … our chocolates are first rate – dark and milk and white and thai chili and kahlua and cinnamon and hazelnut…PLEASE COME BACK!

  10. I’ve actually never had gelato at Laboratorio del Gelato. The sorbet there is so absolutely incredible, that I never have any inclination to get gelato. If you found the flavors muted, why not try something like black currant sorbet or green apple sorbet? The flavors were so bright and powerful that I couldn’t believe it.

  11. I’ve been to il laboratorio, and can say that Jon’s Gelato & sorbetto is excellent. If ever any of you are in South Jersey in the Philadelphia area, Come visit us me at our gelateria – Dolce Crema in Moorestown, NJ – the country’s “Best Place to Live” according to Money Magazine (I think that award is part of a conspiracy to raise taxes again here), but I digress. See you at Dolce Crema!

  12. The Best Gelato I’ve ever had was at Gelateria Parmalat On lincoln Road in Miami Beach. I am italian, and I have to say it was better than in italy. The sorbets were amazing you felt like you were eating the fruit. The pistaccio is the best I’ve ever ever had!

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