One of my projects as a Spotter, no, as a human being, is to find the best ice cream in Athens. Here in Greece our ice cream tradition is… let’s just leave it at ‘unrefined’, so I have to say we’re easy to impress and hard to disappoint when it comes to παγωτό (pagotó). I’m not going to magically exclude myself from this category and pretend I’m any sort of expert, but I can tell you that Arte Italiana on Nea Smyrni Square’s lovely pedestrian zone makes some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tried – at the very least in Athens.
Let me tell you why: the real experts — yes, I’m talking about our Italian friends whose wisdom on these matters I have little reason to question — say that you can tell the quality of the ice cream shop from their pistachio. Arte Italiana does make traditional, small-scale Italian gelato, so I thought I’d taste their very appetizingly green pistachio first and use it as my standard. The result? I just didn’t want it to finish, crunchy bits and all.
A couple of days later I went back and asked them for something vegan. They had a whole grocery shop’s worth of pure, fresh fruit flavours to choose from, so I got cointreau dark chocolate with orange together with forest fruits (pictured). Let’s just say that, while I was no fan of pistachio or fruity vegan ice cream and sorbet flavors before, next time I’ll be trying them first!