Ice cream is never really on my shopping list, but I tell myself I should walk down the aisle "just in case," which means I'll inevitably fall for a sale, or a new flavor will convince me to grab a pint. A couple of weeks ago, I did exactly this at Trader Joe's and I like to think it paid off because I spotted a Talenti lookalike (which Trader Joe's announced this week)!
Next to TJ's usual quarts and ice cream treats, I saw the well-loved gelato's doppelganger in two flavors: caramel cookie crunch and pistachio. I grabbed a pint of the caramel crunch and stopped at another store on the way home for a pint of Talenti to see how they compared.
The packaging for both gelato pints are so similar, I was pretty convinced before opening them that they were the same thing. After comparing the ingredients and nutrition label, however, they are indeed different. Interestingly, the Trader Joe's gelato contains fewer calories. Both say there are 220 calories in a serving size, but a serving size of the TJ's gelato is 2/3 cup, while a serving size of the Talenti gelato is 1/2 cup.
More importantly, how do they compare in taste? I found the Trader Joe's gelato to have a strong vanilla flavor that was a little overpowering. There were also not that many cookie crunch bits and the caramel swirl had a burnt, slightly bitter taste with a bit of a grainy texture. The Talenti gelato was definitely creamier and richer tasting (which I expected, given that it's higher in calories) and there were a lot more cookie crunch bits. The caramel was better, too — not at all bitter and the right consistency.
I wanted this new Trader Joe's product to win me over, but the side-by-side comparison has me remaining loyal to Talenti. The price is nice — $3.49 versus around $6 for a pint of Talenti — but I am seeing Talenti on sale more and more often at my local grocery stores. Also, the calorie savings doesn't convince me, as I'd rather enjoy a better-tasting ice cream as an occasional treat than eat one that's not as good just to shave off some calories. That's just me, though! For now, I'll stick with Talenti.
Have you tried Trader Joe's new gelato? What did you think?