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First Look at Gelazzi: Gelato in the Heights

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When I studied abroad in Italy three years ago, grabbing a daily scoop of gelato in the scorching hot summer afternoons was a necessity. Just about every single street had a stand selling the frozen Italian treats.

Now that we are entering the hotter portion of the summer in Houston, finding places to satisfy a sugary craving and cool us down is a priority. You may frequent a certain snow cone stand or stop by various ice cream parlors for that frozen fix, but you should definitely visit Gelazzi in the Heights on White Oak.

Gelazzi opened on Sunday, May 18, and serves an array of gelato and Italian ice, along with classic Italian pastries, cookies and cakes. One step inside, and you're hit with the strong scent of sugar and milk slowly churning in the kitchen creating the main attraction.

The Cannoli gelato was basically a frozen version of the ricotta-sugar filling; Stracciatella, a vanilla-based gelato with chocolate chips, was just like cookies 'n cream; the Shipley Donut flavor tasted like the doughnut glaze and was enhanced by pieces of Shipley's doughnuts. All of these were great, but my eyes suddenly stopped on an almost empty case of "Blue-Coconut," a flavor I seemed to have overlooked.

"It's a happy accident," the owner said to me as he handed me a spoon with a tiny scoop of coconut gelato swirled with blueberries. He seemed proud of his creation and pleased by my reaction. "This is the one I want," I said.

My fiancé opted for the strawberry gelato, which was a bit more firm than mine because it had just been poured out of the machine. The owner told him to take a step outside and the gelato would soften -- which it did.

Gelazzi is a casual parlor offering quality gelato almost as good as the ones you would find in Rome or Florence.The flavors I tried were certainly the best I have had in Houston.

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