When ever I'm on vacation, we delight in discovering the frozen dessert options in each town we visit. It's a delicious way to "work" while I'm away!
This year we spent 2 days in Asheville, South Carolina and were eager to give Chocolate Gems a try. They offer delicious chocolate confections, in addition to some delicious gelato options. The store is in a spacious historic building with high ceilings, broad wooden floors and bistro tables scattered throughout the eating area.
The gelato was absolutely delicious! My wife raved about the toasted almond, saying that it had a lovely mellow almond flavor with crunchy toasted almonds blended into the gelato and as a garnish on top. Based on the complexity of the almond flavor, my assessment is that it was created not with almond extract (which leaves a tinny and slightly artificial almond flavor) but with almond paste. Good choice! I really enjoyed the chocolate, which had a deep, complex cocoa flavor and a creamy texture. My daughter tried the pink grapefruit and was smitten. When asked what made it so great, she claimed that it was equally as good as Madisono's Pink Grapefruit but in a different way. This version had a good tart grapefruit flavor and a beautiful soft pink color and in the end, we realized that it was the soft texture that made the difference. She is usually eating our pink grapefruit out of a pint from the freezer, which is kept at a colder temperature than the gelato pans in a shop. It's good to remember that subtle differences in texture and temperature can make an entirely different gelato experience.
Having given the gelato it's day in court, we purchased some chocolates and devoured those. Clearly, this is a place that truly believes in creating fine quality products. If you're in Asheville, we definitely recommend that you stop by!