On our last trip to Walt Disney World, it was incredibly hot and humid. That’s pretty normal for Florida, especially during the summer, but this time, the local news was reporting temps hotter than usual. As such, we decided to go with the flow and conduct some refreshing research on two of Walt Disney World’s artisan dessert shops, L’Artisan des Glaces at Epcot and Vivoli Il Gelato at Disney Springs.
What does it mean when something is “artisanal”? After reading several gourmet websites, we have learned that “artisanal” is a trendy term used to define food that is made in a traditional or non-mechanized way. Usually made in small batches, the focus is on fresh ingredients using skills that are handed down from one generation to the next. And what’s the difference between ice cream and gelato? While both are made with cream, sugar, and milk—gelato uses more milk, less cream, and less or no egg yolks.
Our first stop was at L’Artisan des Glaces. With ten flavors of ice cream, sorbet, macaron ice cream sandwiches, and ice cream martinis on the menu, it was difficult to make a choice. As a traditionalist, Kathy chose a one-scoop cup of vanilla, while Sean selected a one-scoop apple pie (and snitched some of Kathy’s vanilla).
On the day that we stopped by Vivoli Il Gelato, it technically was not open to the public. But the manager graciously let us in the shop to taste a few flavors of gelato. We returned a few days later when it was officially open, and crowded with people wanting to try the hot, new Disney Springs dessert spot. Kathy chose a one-scoop pistachio gelato, while Sean selected the apple pie gelato (and snitched some of Kathy’s pistachio).
Sean’s review: Although I liked both the gelato and the ice cream, given a choice I would prefer the ice cream. The ice cream at Artisan des Glaces reminds me of homemade ice cream. It has more consistency, or grit. The ice cream also had more volume and was lighter than the gelato.
Kathy’s review: I thought the ice cream was overall more refreshing, but prefer the heightened taste that comes from the gelato at Vivoli Il Gelato. I also enjoy the density of the gelato and the creamy texture. Best of all—it’s served at a warmer temperature than ice cream. No brain freeze!
The best part of writing this post was the hands-on, Mongello-style research that we felt compelled to conduct. Which we did over and over. 🙂
(All photos from the authors’ personal collection.)
Looking for Magic is Kathy @ Two Roads Photo and Sean @ Shamrock Photo. Kathy is a librarian, walker of many miles, and Paper Bag Princess, who dreams of having coffee with Belle at the castle and co-administering a fantasy book discussion group. Sean is a fire fighter, pilot, and closet superhero, who would like to join the pack with Tigger to use his bouncy and fun powers to make people smile.
Kathy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Sean can be contacted at email@example.com