Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Talenti Gelato Mediterranean Mint #13

[By Nick] After having a revelation from trying Talenti Vanilla Bean gelato, I knew I had to try another flavor as soon as possible. Like I said last time, I have a very limited selection so I decided this time to go with their Mediterranean Mint flavor. You all know how I’m a skeptic when it comes to mint products but if any brand can convert me, I’m pretty sure Talenti would be up to the task.

Talenti Mediterranean Mint Gelato #13
mint gelato with chocolate chips

Once again the packaging leaves little to the imagination because you can clearly see what you’re about to get yourself into (sorry, the picture came out a bit too white).

Talenti describes this one by saying “Fresh mint is blended with flecks of bittersweet chocolate, yielding an exotically smooth and refreshing finish”. That description alone has me sold to be honest. I think it’s a smart choice going with bittersweet chocolate over semisweet chocolate in this application. I do think dark chocolate works better paired with mint and seeing as bittersweet chocolate is technically the darker of the two baking chocolates I can see this one working nicely together.

When I opened the container up, there was a strange aroma coming off this one. It was reminiscent of limes which struck me as extremely odd. Smell aside, I decided to press on and was taken aback once again but this time by the flavor. I know fresh mint can be grassy but I’ve never experienced it in a frozen dessert before and grass is all that I could taste from this one.

Even the bites with a lot of chocolate got overpowered by the grassy-ness which is a shame. The bittersweet chocolate on its own is actually pretty good and not as dark as I expected it would be. However, it just couldn't hold up against the base at all. I could barely make it through a serving before I just couldn't take the taste anymore. Sure the texture of the gelato is amazing like the vanilla bean but the flavor just ruins everything for me.

Man, I had such high hopes for this one too. I guess that’s just the risk you take when it comes to mint flavored things. It’s either going to be really good or just plain awful. I would have much rather had this one taste like mouthwash than grass.

On Second Scoop (aka “I forced others to try it”): Everyone was very put off by the grassy-ness and one even went as far as spitting it right out. I didn't even mention anything about the lime smell I had originally encountered but one of them asked why it smelt citrus-y. Yeah, I’m sorry Talenti, but this one is not even close to a winner in my book.

Verdict?  Grass wasn’t tasty when I was little and sure as heck isn’t now.
Buy Again?  Never again

On Second Pint (2014): So I decided to give Talenti's Mediterranean Mint another try because of all of your comments basically saying I was crazy. (actually, I just wanted a container of it with the updated packaging) I'm glad I took the chance though. While there is a little bit of the "grassiness" to it, the flavor was a lot better this time around. I can see why so many of you, including Dubba, really like this flavor. While it's not my favorite, I can appreciate the craft that was put into making this flavor. I'm going to mark this one up as either a fluke or a change in recipe when they switched packaging. Either way, I'd have no problems recommending this to someone looking for a more natural mint flavor. This gelato is mint chip at its simplest form and should be enjoyed that way. 

Dubba's Scoop: I've always been intrigued by Nick's grassy comment on this review. It's not that I don't believe him, it's just that my technical side needs to quantify it. So, with my final free Talenti coupon about to expire and no other viable options available, I picked this one up today. My treat was nice and soft by the time I got home, so I dug right in and.... cool, I like it. See, the thing is, I grew up on this flavor. My mom and grandmom used to make these neat little rose shaped mint candies (link?) and this tastes EXACTLY like them. It's uncanny, and for me, it's kind of awesome. It's a funky creamy mint flavor that I haven't tasted in a very long time. Obviously it's not for everyone, but it's another example of how Talenti consistently thinks outside the box pint. Thanks for the memories Talenti!

Dubba's Verdict?  a very old school flavor
Would Dubba Buy Again?  yup


Anonymous said...

Why on earth would you purchase a mint flavored ice cream if you don't really like mint? It has REAL MINT which takes MUCH different than fake mint flavoring. I think you just made a poor decision and then bitched about it which just makes you look silly. Don't buy something you don't like and then rant about how terrible it is on the internet. It tastes exactly how it is advertised and it's great, if you enjoy mint.

Nick Rovo said...

I like mint enough to be willing to try out a new product. I'm more accustom to the "fake mint flavoring" and not the "natural" grassy one. If you read the second scoop, I wasn't the only one who was turned off by it. This is a blog that reviews products to let others know if it's worth their money to buy. If I had known this was going to taste like my front lawn, I wouldn't have picked it up in the first place. Now with me reviewing this product, people who are looking for a "real mint" flavor can find a product that won't let them down. Also, the people who prefer the "fake mint" flavor know to stay away from this one. Looks like a job well done to me.

Dubba said...

I rarely post mean spirited comments like this but I felt Nick deserved the chance to defend his excellent post. He started with a willingness to try something new (the fundamental purpose of this blog), he was taken aback (something that happens when you review products honestly), and finally he called in his friends for secondary opinions to give us a well rounded post. What more could you have possibly wanted from him? We can't all like the same flavors, that's why they make so many.

Anonymous said...

Wow you are so off here it's crazy. Non-mint people should never review mint things. It is fresh, bright and sweet. The chocolate bitter sweet is perfect contrast. Perfect and not at all "grassy" stick to what you know man and don't trash a great product.

Nick Rovo said...

Anon, please read my comment to the other Anon. Also, I wasn't trying to trash the product and I wasn't the only one who I had sample the pint that thought it was grassy. To each their own.

Mike N. said...

According to their FAQ, Talenti uses alfalfa sprout extract (!) to achieve the green color, so it's possible that's contributing to the "grassy" notes.

Nick Rovo said...

Good catch, Mike! That could have been what I was tasting as well.

Dora's Decor said...

LOL at these comments. Definitely to each his/her own. I absolutely am addicted to the Mint and a lover of Mint ice cream. Each bite is so refreshing, although made of natural ingredients and less/sugar and fat than real ice cream it defeats the purpose for me when I eat the whole pint in one setting. lol

Michael G. said...

I don't feel like it tastes grassy; at first the taste is a bit strong, robust but good. I'm eating it now, trying to see where the "grassy" comes from and honestly calling it that does feel like a jab or insult so perhaps a less negative remark?

I don't know, I like it.

Nick Rovo said...

@Michael: There's not a nicer way I can put it. To be honest, I feel like I might have got a bum pint from all of these comments. I'm a bit hesitant to grab another pint but I just might to confirm my original thoughts.

Anonymous said...

It has a dull, overly sweet and grassy taste. It reminds me a bit of a green tea ice cream I used to purchase.
The real, fresh mint is not the issue. It's true that some people prefer "fake" mint flavor over natural fresh mint. I genuinely like and seek out both when done well. The issue for me is the balance of flavor-or lack thereof. I do not find the taste to be clean, bright and refreshing. I find it instead to be too sweet and dull. Perhaps the alfalfa is interfering and muddying the fresh mint. The consistency of the gelato is fantastic and I like other Talenti flavors. This isn't a knock on them at all, they're fabulous. I just think this flavor could use some tweaking.

Anonymous said...

This Talenti Mediterranean Mint is the best mint chocolate that I have had in a long time and I hope they never change the recipe!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of this flavor. I can't taste sor smell mint at all and the chocolate bits are tasteless and waxy like crayons. Yes, I know it's natural mint, but so is the mojito my local barender makes and it has a nice mint taste and smell. This gelato tastes grassy, as others have said. It doesn't seem overly sweet and does have a creamy texture, but I would not buy it again.

Deb said...

I love mint ice cream but was disappointed with this one. It was fine but given the talenti hype, I expected more. I would have just as easily enjoyed friendlys, edys, or Breyers. The chips were good and plentiful, but the mint flavor was a but overpowering to the point of tasting fake, and I didn't find the texture any better than regular ice cream, even after sitting out for ten minutes.

Anonymous said...

I am head over heels in love with this flavor. I love mint in general, especially in sweet frozen treats. I actually did NOT like the sea salt caramel and coffee chocolate chip as much as you did. In fact, I couldn't even finish the pint of these two flavors. On the other hand, I have gone through several pints of Mediterranean mint. To each is their own : )