If you read my travelogue posts on my 2015 trip across Europe, particular the entries from Italy, then you know that I ate an absurd quantity of gelato while overseas. When you eat a lot of one thing you start to notice differences in quality from place to place. With gelato, as anything else, it’s hard to judge the quality of the shop you bought it from without sampling a large part of the menu, but most of the time doing so would be impracticable. While in Europe, I was trying to find a way to get around this problem, and I came up with something I called the Chocolate Test. I came up with this test because of tendency I noticed among gelato shops. Chocolate is one of the most basic flavors offered at any gelato shop, however it also seems to be one of the most difficult to get right. Gelato shops that had good chocolate gelato tended to also have good quality other flavors, while ones that floundered in this one area tended to also have lesser quality on their other offerings. From this, I think you can guess what the Chocolate Test is: if a gelato shop can nail the basic chocolate flavor, then there’s a good chance its other offerings are also good. This “test” originally started as a joke inside my head, however it proved correct enough times that I started to give it some credence. Of course, the Chocolate Test does not have a 100% accuracy rate, and exceptions abound, but I found it to be correct often enough to use it as a somewhat reliable measure of a gelato shop’s quality.