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What could cause us to waiver in our sworn allegiance to ice cream? Its sexier European cousin: gelato. Gelato is denser than ice cream, yielding a more concentrated flavor and made with milk rather than cream, so it’s actually lower in fat without any weird additives. No premade bases here. The trend has moved beyond the standard bearer, Gelatiamo, with the following three gelato shops making big changes recently.
Rebecca and Jordan Barrows (a longtime local chef) quietly took over this Ballard darling last year, but it hasn’t been closed a day as they’ve been doing upgrades in an effort to make the vibe of the shop match its hip ’hood. The gelato speaks for itself with chef-driven flavors such as grapefruit Campari sorbetto and Theo chocolate chunk joining staples like pistachio and hazelnut. Ballard, 5339 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.327.9175
Nutty Squirrel Gelato
The Magnolia flagship is the third, but largest, location of this gelateria owned by Alev and Tolga Seymen. If it’s on the rotating menu, get the Magic Carpet Ride (black sesame gelato with dark chocolate swirls and a pomegranate reduction), which just won Nutty Squirrel an impressive finalist position in the Gelato World Tour. Magnolia, 2425 33rd Ave. W
Building on the success of their Wallingford location, Fainting Goat owners Yalcin and Sevim Ataman (who are helped in the shop by their three daughters) opened a second location in early 2016. Flavors change regularly; seek out the mastic, a spice from the resin of a Mediterranean tree, used here in a goat milk gelato in a nod to the owners’ Turkish heritage and the shop’s name. Fremont, 3415 Fremont Ave. N; 206.257.5267