Saturday, August 24, 2013

Poporo Gelato Shop - Matsushima ポポロ・ジェラートSHOP 022-354-6322


Address:  宮城県宮城郡松島町高城字浜38-3.   Located just off Route 45 near Matsushima Dai-ichi Elementary School.  About a 15-minute walk from Matsushima JR Station (not to be confused with the more touristy Matsushima-kaigan JR Station.  Although, it’s about a 25 to 30-minute walk from there).
Map:  Scroll down below.
Open:  Their website states 10 am to 7 pm from April to October, and closing at 6 pm from November to March.  But in reality they seem to close at 5 pm all year round.
My friend, Helen, recommended this gelato shop to me a couple of years ago, as she knew that I drove out to Matsushima on a weekly basis.   But because I’m bad at directions I could never find the place.   
I changed my route one day, and lo and behold, there it was!  Actually, it took me quite a few trips down that route to notice the giant ice cream cone on top of the building.  Apparently, I’m oblivious to the obvious.

Poporo advertises itself as using 100% all natural ingredients to make the highest quality, homemade Italian gelato.  I’m no authority on gelato (though I did try my best to become one during my trip to Venice), but this mom-and-pop gelato shop offers up some creamy, rich gelato.
My two favorite flavors are the chocolate and chocolate chip (stracciatella).  Pretty plain, huh?
But I’ve also tried the vanilla, which wasn’t sweet enough for my taste buds, and the choco-banana, which tasted much more banana than chocolate.

Vanilla and Chocolate on a double cone

Overall, I would say that Poporo’s gelato is not nearly as sweet as traditional ice cream, yet it is much creamier, which seems to suit the Japanese palate.  My wife loves the Jersey Milk flavor and thought that my vanilla was great.
One complaint I would have is the taste of the cone.  I ordered a double cone for 330 yen because it appeared to be the best value (as opposed to a single cone for 280 yen).  But every time I’ve ordered the double cone, the cone tasted, shall we say, not exactly from an unopened box.  More like a day-old cone.
I’ve been more satisfied ordering a single scoop in a waffle cone (300 yen).  And even then, this is no sweet Baskin-Robbins 31 Ice Cream waffle cone, but at least much fresher than their standard double cone.
Check out their website for their list of 33 flavors of gelato and sorbettos, though not all are available at the same time.

A small sampling of their offerings.

There are a couple of tables inside with air conditioning, and a good sized parking lot.  You can also order 500 gram packs of ice cream to take home.

If you’re visiting Matsushima and are hankering for something cold and creamy, I highly recommend Poporo Gelato Shop!

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