Pazzo Gelato in North Andover

blood orange sorbet pazzo gelatoWe were there for gelato, but the first thing I tasted was the pina colada sorbet.

Smooth, sweet, and super creamy, it was hard to believe it was vegan. I asked for another spoon and swooned. Then we tried the gelato. Oh, the gelato! Dense and soft and luxurious. I declared I was in my happy place.

We were at Pazzo Gelato Cafe in North Andover, and as I savored each spoonful of gelato, I remembered my wonderful trip to Italy with my parents, where we ate gelato every day. (Check out my vintage posts about Milan, Venice, and Tuscany.)

I love both gelato and ice cream, but to me gelato tastes just a little bit more decadent. There are a few differences between gelato and ice cream: gelato has less butterfat, it’s more dense (ice cream is fluffier), and gelato is actually served at a slightly lower temperature than ice cream. SeriousEats explains it well, but essentially gelato is just Italian ice cream.

I was at Pazzo Gelato to try the gelato sandwich that they made for me… using one of my cookie recipes! I get so happy when people tell me that they tried one of my recipes and that they really like it, and I was so flattered when Pazzo Gelato contacted me and said that they want to make a gelato sandwich in my honor using my favorite Mango White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.

They baked the cookies early morning, then I came in with my friend Mike to try the best gelato pairings.

mango white chocolate oatmeal cookies largepazzo gelato sandwich gelato sandwich with oatmeal cookie

After trying several flavors (coconut, banana, chocolate, lemon, vanilla), we ended up using toasted almond coconut gelato to make the massive gelato sandwiches (3 scoops of gelato between two large cookies). The toasted almond coconut paired really well with the oatmeal mango cookies. I love the smoothness of the gelato and the chewiness of the cookies. It was one sandwich I would like to eat all the time.

jim demotses pazzo gelatochocolate olive oil gelatochocolate olive oil sea salt gelato

I had the pleasure of talking to owner Jim Demotses, who was incredibly nice and welcoming. That’s him in the photo above giving me a scoop of chocolate sea salt olive oil gelato. (That’s right: chocolate. sea salt. olive oil.) Jim walked us through how he churns out small batches of fresh gelato every day, made from fresh local milk and fresh fruit. I could really tell how passionate he is about his products and his craft.

blood orange sorbet banana chocolate caramel gelato

Jim let us try all the flavors we wanted, and some of my favorites were the blood orange sorbet and banana chocolate caramel. The very first picture on top of this post is the blood orange sorbet and vanilla gelato. Individually, both flavors were delicious; together, they tasted like the silkiest Italian cream soda.

pazzo gelato wallpazzo gelato side wall

The interiors of Pazzo Gelato Cafe are bright and cheery, and I loved hearing the stories behind the murals. Jim’s favorite movie is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory so that was the inspiration for the hand-painted drawings on one side of the wall (remember the lickable wallpaper?) The other mural represents Jim’s family and the city of Salerno, Italy (where his wife’s family lives).

The word pazzo means “crazy” in Italian and Jim is crazy about making fresh artisan gelato. I’ve always believed that food made with love always tastes better, and that’s the case with Pazzo. I truly enjoyed my visit, and of course I was elated over the Confessions of a Chocoholic Gelato Sandwich!

coconut ice cream sandwich

While I don’t have any immediate plans to go back to Italy yet, I am definitely looking forward to driving to North Andover again for another taste of Pazzo gelato.

Do you have a favorite gelato flavor? Mine is hazelnut. And pistachio. And coconut.


16 Responses to “Pazzo Gelato in North Andover”

  1. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted April 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I love me some pistachio too! As a kid it wasn’t a favorite but many years later I can’t get enough! Looks delicious!

    • Bianca Garcia replied April 22nd, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I used to avoid it when I was a kid, too – I thought it was a flavor only “old people” would like. Haha I guess I grew up!

  2. #
    Megan posted April 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Oh man… that chocolate sea salt olive oil one sounds awesome, and your sandwich looks great too! Will have to remember this place if I end up in Andover.

  3. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted April 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    1-that gelato looks DELISH 2-how amazingggg that they used your cookie recipe for a cookie sandwich!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bianca Garcia replied April 22nd, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Yes, I was so happy about that, and they made it so perfectly, too!

  4. #
    Rosa @HHR posted April 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Ooh, I can tell how tasty it is from the texture in the pics. And the names sound so goooood!

    • Bianca Garcia replied April 22nd, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Right?? You can tell from the pics just how creeeaaamy it is!

  5. #
    Joanne posted April 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    HOW COOL that they turned your cookies into ice cream sandwiches!! Total bonus points for them.

  6. #
    Michelle posted April 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I used to live super close to that little shopping area and I remember when Pazzo was coming in! We should make a gelato date there sometime. :-)

  7. #
    Michelle Lahey posted April 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I interviewed Jim when Pazzo first opened, but I have yet to go back in – after reading this post, though, I need to go back ASAP. And that’s so cool that they made sandwiches with your cookie recipe!

  8. #
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan posted April 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Congrats on having YOUR cookies used at Pazzo Gelato!!! That is awesome! I had not clue that gelato contained less butterfat, I always thought it had more because of its consistency! I love chocolate gelato and vanilla gelato – yes, am pretty boring in the gelato flavor dept! :)

  9. #
    Meghan posted April 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    What a yummy experience! I had a chocolate curry gelato in Newport once, and it was incredible.

  10. #
    Ashley posted April 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Ugh I haven’t had gelato in foreverrrrr! haha You’re killing me with all these photos : ) I love pistachio gelato … so so good!

  11. #
    Choc Chip Uru posted April 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Loving your gelato photos, I am dying for a taste now!

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. #
    Shannon posted April 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

    chocolate olive oil sea salt??? omg, i’m going to have to try that :)

  13. #
    Molly Galler posted April 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    A gelato sandwich inspired by one of your recipes? Is there any greater compliment? How fun!

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