Morano Gelato

Hanover, New Hampshire


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Morano Gelato is quickly winning me over. Over the past 2 weeks, they've had at least 2 dairy-free options each time that I've stopped by and the flavors have gotten a lot more interesting. My favorite sorbetto flavors so far are dark chocolate (yes, it's a sorbet!) and grapefruit. The dark chocolate reminds me of a slightly bitter version of a Fudgecicle. It's creamy and rich without being overly sweet. The grapefruit is light and airy and possibly the most refreshing-tasting ice cream product that I have ever tasted. Unlike many American "gelato" shops, Morano Gelato knows its craft. The sorbetto is actually creamy, as true Italian sorbetti ought to be.

I'm thrilled that Morano Gelato has been moving in a more vegan-friendly direction. The only thing holding me back from giving them 5 stars at this point is that there are still some days when there is only one vegan flavor and it's something pretty standard (like lemon). That said, if the number and variety of vegan options become more consistent, I will gladly give Morano Gelato that extra star.

Original Review: May 13, 2011

I was so excited to learn that Hanover was getting a gelateria - I literally walked past the storefront every day for a month in hopes that it would open. However, Morano Gelato finally opened last week and, so far, I have been a little disappointed with the non-dairy offerings. I'm used to gelato shops with dairy-free sorbetto flavors comprising roughly 40% of the menu. So far, Morano Gelato only seems to have 1 dairy-free flavor available at a time, and it's usually pretty uninspiring (lemon, passion fruit, banana). On the other hand, it seems like there are always around 10 flavors that are made with dairy, and most of these flavors look really interesting (olive oil, chili-chocolate, panna cotta, jasmine, honey).

I spoke with the owner and she mentioned that she's hoping to start having 2 sorbetto flavors at a time once the weather warms up, but she warned me that the fruit-based flavors don't sell as well as the cream-based flavors, so she's not sure how sustainable it will be to carry 2 sorbetti at a time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something changes soon. I realize that Morano Gelato has to do what is best for its business, but it's getting really depressing waiting in the gelato line with my friends, only to leave empty-handed (somehow, it feels worse to settle for the lemon sorbet while everyone else goes crazy over the exciting non-vegan flavors) .

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This place is a ray of light in the otherwise complete culinary destitution of Hanover, NH. They serve gelato which is better than any I've had in America and seems to be produced exactly the way it is in Italy -- with taste to match! Their menu seems to expand every time I come in, and their gelato isn't the only incredible thing. They have wonderful frappes (gelato milkshakes), Italian pastries, and even some Italian candies and treats available. The proprietor/chef also makes cakes! They also have such good espresso beverages that on days when I'm too full for gelato, I sometimes make a special stop in just for a cappuccino or a latte.

As for their vegan options -- it's a gelato shop. As a lactose intolerant person, I sometimes want to steer clear of the dairy-filled gelato, and I've never been disappointed by the dairy-free gelato (sorbet) offerings. Yes, I haven't seen more than three at a time but, again -- it's a gelato shop. I'm grateful they have any dairy-free options at all!

Definitely worth a visit, whether you're a vegan or not. Even the decor itself is worth it -- you'll think you're stepping out of Hanover and right into Florence (especially with the Florentine radio piping in quietly through the speakers).

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The gelato here is absolutely amazing! I had been looking for a place in the upper valley to satisfy my urge for delicious desserts and Morano Gelato always hits the spot. Since it is in the center of Hanover (which is near my work) I usually just stop by to check out the flavors, but they also have a facebook page where the flavor are posted every day, so you can see if your favorites were made before heading in. I really love the Greek yogurt and pistachio flavors, and I usually try one of the other unusual flavors while I'm there also.

If you're wondering about the ingredients in a particular flavor the owner is really nice and is happy to answer questions. I asked her where the milk and pistachios come from and it turns out the milk is from McNamara Farms and the pistachios are Italian. Oh well; I guess they don't grow pistachios in the Upper Valley :P

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