We often ask ourselves... Which is better and why? And this is about everything around us... Since it's summer and we're all craving something cold, let's talk about ice cream. Creating good ice cream is not as easy as you might think. My latest discovery is Orsobianco, a product which started in a small kitchen in Bsalim back in 2007. Since 2009, they have been researching and traveling back and forth to Italy, France and the US in order to come up with the best recipes for the renowned gelato. They have grown out of the kitchen and into a professional ice cream factory. This brand has become the latest talk of the town and I wanted to try it. Choose from their daily produced flavors that include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, lemon, cheesecake, and more, or some of their more innovative creations like pineapple-basil, lemoncello, port-fraise, etc. The passion that goes into every step of the production process is reflected in the taste of each one of their products.
Orsobianco Flavors Menu:
- Ice cream (Gelato): Vanille, Chocolate with Chips, chocolate, Cheesecake, Oreo Cookies, Gianduia (Chocolate/Hazelnut), Pistachio (with pieces), Almonds Crunch, Coffee Crunch, Amarena, Rose loukoum, Meskeh, Sahlab, Salted Caramel, Coconut, Banana with Chocolate Chips, Nocciola Crunch, "Marrons Glaces" , Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Rum Raisins, Straciatella.
- Sorbet (No Milk, No cream): Strawberry, Mango, Lemon, Lemon-Mint, Prickly Pears, Melon, Fig, "Orange Sanguine", Mandarine, Jellab with Pine Nuts, Lemoncello, Mango Sugar Free, Strawberry Sugar free, Lemon Sugar free, Porto Strawberry.
I passed by Le Carpaccio, Naccache and chose to try four flavors to start with. Four flavors that can give me an idea of what's hidden behind this name. Today's Tastings:
- Almond Crunch 26,000L.L
- Lemon Sorbet 15,000L.L
- Chocolate Peanut Butter 20,000L.L
- Coconut 18,000L.L
A round plastic container covered with a strong lid where a thin nylon layer protects the ice cream from curious eyes. Every box contains 1 liter of the finest fresh ingredients, without the use of preservatives and prepared with passion and love.
Almond Crunch: 03/10
- Milk, Sugar, Cream, Fresh Almonds, Dextrose, Natural Stabilizers, Crunch (caramel and almonds)
- The mix has a nice texture and color
- The colors are mouthwatering. White and gold blend perfectly together
- Like the Haagen Dazs, this ice cream is creamy and has a milky aftertaste
- Haagen Dazs lovers should imperatively try this flavor
- This is the least I liked between the four flavors. The Almond crunch is too creamy and too heavy
- It's too sweet
- I liked the idea of using crunchy almonds but not their taste. These little chucks should be caramelized more to give the right perfect taste
- The almonds are too small and get stuck inside your teeth
Lemon Sorbet: 07/10
- Mineral Water, Fresh Lemon, Sugar, Natural Stabilizers
- I like the clear white color
- An after taste that lingers around nicely
- Soft but not watery. Every bite is ice crunchy
- Filled with taste and flavor
- It needs something more. A more prominent aftertaste that lasts longer
- Maybe add to the mix some zests
Chocolate Peanut Butter: 10/10
- Milk, Sugar, Cocoa powder, Chocolate 70%, Cream, Dextrose, Peanut butter, Natural Stabilizers
- Filled with nuts chunks, this creation is unique of its kind
- Creamy, hard and chewy
- You feel the chocolate concentration and aromas
- Adequate and homogeneous color
- Every bite reveals many flavors and aromas: Peanuts, peanuts butter, sugar and dark chocolate
- None that I could find
- Milk, Sugar, Cream, Coconut, Dextrose, Natural Stabilizers
- Concentrated coconut that sparkles in every bite
- Homogenous color
- No added water
- A bit creamy
- You need to be a real coconut lover to appreciate this creation
- Pure white
- Easy to scoop in a ball and enjoyed in a cone
- It's an ice cream for connoisseurs and won't be appreciated commercially
The VERDICT: Orsobianco is indeed a tasty ice cream brand created in a professional way. I loved its packaging as well as the premium product inside each. You feel the concentration of ingredients which justifies its price. My favorite is surely the chocolate peanut butter followed by the coconut and sorbet. The almond crunch is not one of the flavors I will buy again.
To be honest, my favorite ice cream producer in Lebanon is still Oslo that has the additional hint of finesse and taste. Categorizing ice cream producers into 4 big categories: (4 Non edible - 3 Commercial - 2 Good - 1 Premium), Orsobianco stands first place in the third category podium.