What's the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato is just Italian for ice cream, right? Wrong. Unlike ice cream, gelato is made from milk and is churned slower to help reduce air content. This results in a dense, creamy, indulgent dessert that is lower in calories. Nestled among a group of boutique shops in Forest Park, Paciugo is the perfect place to set down those shopping bags and indulge in a creamy taste of heaven.
Owners Kim and Bill Devoney are the force behind this little piece of Italy in the suburbs.
Inside guests will enjoy the beauty and artistry of gelato. Made on site daily, the gelato is as visually appealing as it is delicious! Thirty-two flavors of 200 possible creamy pieces of art are available each day. Flavors range from classics, such as chocolate chip, to more exotic flavors like black pepper olive oil and black olive.
Instead of artificial flavorings, Paciugo uses real ingredients like candied cherries from Italy, or pistachios from Mexico. Try the pistachio gelato to experience the heightened, true pistachio flavor.
But while the classics are excellent, where Paciugo really shines is with their seasonal and exotic varieties. Exotic favorites include the "Mediterranean sea salt caramel," which uses its salty undertones to enhance the sweetness of the caramel. Silky "black pepper olive oil" leaves a subtle kick in the back of your throat. The intriguing "black olive" had me envisioning mixing it with vodka, to create a dirty martini.
With the cold upon us, Paciugo is offering up holiday flavors. For Thanksgiving they served up wonderful "pumpkin pie" spiced with clove, and for Christmas, they're offering rum and nutmeg infused egg nog and a spiced gingerbread.
From holiday flavors, exotic creations, to traditional favorites, Paciugo offers a taste of Italy in the 'burbs. While the Chicagoland weather doesn't have us thinking gelato year round, it would be a mistake not to stop into this Forest Park gem at any time of year.
7510 Madison St.
Forest Park, IL