By Merle Exit
Gelato, a treat that was invented by Italians, has become a trendy dessert in the United States.
Gidon Pesso is the owner of Pesso’s Ices and Ice Cream, which offers 100 different flavors of a combination of ices, ice cream and gelato in Bayside. All of the desserts the shop offers are made on the premises. A sign inside said that there were 79 flavors offered the day I went to take a taste.
Pesso politely greeted me when I went inside. I asked how many flavors I would be allowed to taste and was told that I could taste them all if I wanted to.
A young woman, Gabriella, assisted me. I told her that I was planning on having a party and wanted to taste many flavors, purchase cups for myself and my friend to eat right there and then purchase two pints to bring home. She was eager to assist me.
I went from sweet, water-based ices to gelato and then to ice cream since the fat content goes in that direction. I chose to compare the black cherry and cherry flavors. I found the black cherry a stronger taste because of the cherries in it, though it wasn’t quite as sweet.
I continued with fruit flavors of watermelon, mango and orange creamsicle, which was true to its flavor. I was then interested to contrasting chocolate ices, chocolate gelato and chocolate ice cream, finding that the chocolate ices had the deepest chocolate flavor.
Chatting with Gabriella, I learned that she was born in Italy, around the Naples area. She has been working at Pesso’s for about a year and was able to answer any questions pertaining to the contents of the flavors, as many of them — such as a mint chip brownie, heavenly chocolate and cannoli, with cannoli cream and pieces of cannoli shell — seemed very complex on paper.
Being a chocoholic, my taste buds went bonkers for chocolate, hazelnut, chocolate hazelnut and stracciatella gelatos. Stracciatella is a basic gelato non-flavor with chocolate chunks added to it. The hazelnut was excellent — it did not contain pieces of hazelnut, as I prefer the flavor of these frozen desserts without nuts.
In the ice cream category, I tasted the mint chip and coffee flavors, along with the heavenly chocolate, chocolate, and mint chip brownie. The coffee tasted like real coffee was used as opposed to a coffee flavoring, which I tend to find tastes more like maple walnut.
If the flavors alone are not enough to satisfy your cravings, there are tasty toppings offered as well, including candy, cookies, syrup and whipped cream. Other options on the menu include milkshakes, floats, sundaes and smoothies.
Family owned since 2004, Pesso’s — located at 203-20 35th Ave., just a few blocks off the Clearview Expressway — has outdoor seating, with tables and chairs. Inside, you can rest yourself at a counter of stools or one table with two chairs.
Pesso’s is open every day — except some holidays — from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. regardless of the season.