/Grom Opens in Rome

Grom Opens in Rome

Grom, the world famous gelato chain, opened in Rome on Friday. The newest franchise marks Grom’s latest step towards world domination the 40th city for the company, which is known as much for quality products as it is for its masterful marketing.

I paid a visit on Sunday night to check out the shop and taste a few flavors. I have been to Grom in NYC and Florence before, but not for ages. I remember the gelato being good but not amazing and outrageously expensive. The outcome tonight was much better this time. The flavors were nice, the consistency of the gelato was creamy in a really unique way and a small cup was €2.50.

I tried five flavors: crema di una volta (an egg based ice cream), crema di Grom (crema di una volta mixed with cookies and Columbian chocolate), extra dark chocolate, fior di latte, and mint. This last one was not gelato, but a slushy granita made with mint oil. It was fresh and light, though a tad too sweet. Among the other flavors, crema di Grom was the clear winner. The others were quite good, as well. In fact, I really really liked them. Yet there is something about Grom that just doesn’t sit right with me.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was eating at the Ikea of gelato shops. The walls are plastered in a dizzying number of panels that show the farm where Grom cultivates its own organic fruit. Others declare “Grom Loves World”. (I said they were marketing masters, not English grammar experts!) The spoons read, “Biodegradable and compostable”. All these things should give me warm and fuzzy feeling, right? Instead, a visit to Grom warmed my heart about as much as my last purchase of a sturdy Scandanavian bookshelf.

In theory, Grom ticks all the boxes: quality product, good sourcing, attention to detail, organic and Slow Food recognized products, recyclable materials…But where is the soul? For me, food is about feelings and atmosphere. And in Rome there are so many outstanding gelaterie with a warm and welcoming neighborhood feel. These are the small businesses that I strongly recommend and support. So I’ll probably go back to Grom in a pinch. But I much prefer what Claudio makes for Il Gelato, what Fabio crafts at Vice, and what Maria Agnese dreams up at Fatamorgana.

2017-02-17T15:27:20+00:00 June 6th, 2011|Categories: Gelato, Rome & Lazio, Sweets & Dessert|15 Comments


  1. nyc/caribbean ragazza June 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I hear what you’re saying. I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA, but it sounds like GROM is a “greener” company.

    I went to the once in Florence a while ago. It was very good. However, it didn’t blow me away like my three favorite places in Prati. You know gelato is excellent when you’re willing to get on a non-air conditioned bus to get it.

    Maybe I will try some of their granitas. I wonder if GROM’s location will give that San Crispino branch a run for its money.

  2. Tom June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    “I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was eating at the Ikea of gelato shops.”

    You’ve put into words exactly what I’ve been feeling since the first time I had gelato at Grom in NYC!

    “The walls are plastered in a dizzying number of panels that show the farm where Grom cultivates its own organic fruit. Others declare “Grom Loves World”. (I said they were marketing masters, not English grammar experts!)”

    You’d think a company that I assume makes lots and lots of $$$ could hire someone that would recognize the need for the word “the.” Unbelievable!

  3. Kat June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    On Saturday to celebrate the opening they gave out free gelato all day, so I went (ok maybe I went twice).
    I’m not really crazy about gelato in general, but I think Grom’s stracciatella is amazing. It has a creamy vanilla (fior di latte) gelato, with big chunks of extra-bitter chocolate. Most other places that do stracciatella have tiny shreds of milk chocolate that blend into the gelato.
    So although stracciatella is a sort of “boring” flavor, I really recommend it to anyone that passes by Grom. I liked it much better than the Crema di Grom, which I’ve also tried. (I feel like it tries and fails to be like “cookie dough ice cream”)

  4. Kitty June 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Felt just the same way when I went there but thought prhaps I was just jelous!!
    Kind of like it was missing drips and maybe l’amore too? xK

  5. Katie June 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    “You know gelato is excellent when you’re willing to get on a non-air conditioned bus to get it.” Truer words have never been spoken. I presume you are referring to fata, al settimo gelo and gracchi?

    The granita I had was good, the others are meant to be very good. My pusher for slushy treats in that hood is Gelateria Corona. Their pistacchio cremolato is ridiculous.

    I think San Crispino is definitely in trouble. San Crispino’s fame is eclipsed only by that of Grom, which has 1 gajillion shops worldwide. We’ll see what happens…

    I really do like the green message at Grom. There are recycle bins, biodegradable spoons, many ingredients derive from a filiera corta. All fantastic. But announced in the cold and mechanical way of a profit-oriented businesses selling a product. I want my gelato cold, not my gelateria;)

  6. Tom June 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Global greenwashing from the sound of it. I agree with you that it’s far better to go to a place where you know the person serving you. Read Douglas Rushkoff’s Life, Inc. if you haven’t already.

  7. Katie June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    @Tom #1 I havent read Life, Inc but certainly will! Thanks Tom

    @Tom #2 I swear I will never get accustomed to the basic grammar errors Italian companies constantly make in their expensive marketing campaigns.

    @Kat I can imagine that stracciatella being really really tasty. you had me at “big chunks of extra bitter chocolate”. i hear what you are saying about crema di grom tasting like a budget cookiedough ice cream. it actually reminded me of my hometown ice cream shop’s (halo pub, that is) cookie dough flavor. I love biscotti di meliga more than life itself so i actually really like the crema di grom flavor, though when it comes to gelato i do prefer the moistness of a big wad of cookie dough over a somewhat flakey biscotto.

    @Kitty not jealous just perceptive:)

  8. tiberina17 June 7, 2011 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Mi piaceva molto Grom, più delle altre gelaterie di Milano (anche perché è vicino alla mia università, e quindi…), soprattutto per la loro panna squisita.
    Poi ho provato le gelaterie romane e nonostante “crema come una volta” e “caramello al sale” siano due gusti eccellenti, Grom non mi entusiasma più.
    Per due motivi:

    1) la panna a Roma è gratis, è compresa nel costo del gelato. Qui, come altrove a Milano, costa 0.50 euro… e spesso è poco meno di una cucchiaiata.
    2) ho scoperto che Grom a Milano applica prezzi differenti rispetto al resto d’Italia… un kg di gelato costa 20 euro a Torino (per esempio), mentre a Milano 24.

    Poi vabbè… dopo aver provato il Pistacchio di Bronte IGP di Vice e lo zabaione al Marsala di Torcé… there’s no way back.

  9. Alessandro June 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    That is so funny. We just walked past it on Saturday afternoon without realizing it had just opened. We were in Roma on vacation for a week and tried some gelaterie but decided not to try Grom because it was just too “slick” looking. Never realized it was a big chain. We tried others though, including the famous San Crispino near Trevi, Fior di Luna in Trastevere, Alberto Pica in Campo, Blue Ice near Campo and Il Gelato at Monte D’Oro. Katie’s recommendation paid off; Claudio Torce’s Il Gelato was our fave of the trip. I especially loved the Riso Bianco and the Panna. Also tried the Gorgonzola and it was addictive in an odd way you can’t describe. My girlfriend’s favourite was probably the Habanero. Funny thing is we walked past extremely busy, with lineups out on the street, Grom and Giolitti locations to get to the Claudio Torce only to find we were the only customers in there! Felt like we were really in the know and got the true artigianale experience thanks to Katie’s recommendation. Our next fave was Alberto Pica and his Riso flavours, followed by Fior di Luna for its service. Note has to be taken that San Crispino’s Zabaglione flavour was delicious but the service there was horrible and i would never go back. Even service wise, Claudio Torce’s Il Gelato came out on top. I hope he does well in that location.

  10. nyc/caribbean ragazza June 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Yes Katie, I was referring to those three. Thanks for the tip about Gelateria Corona. I have never been there.

  11. Tom #1 June 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    One thing you neglected is the address; of course I could find it in a second on Google (via della Maddalena angolo Campo di Marzio) but…
    Instead today I happened into Rivareno at the end of Via Magna Grecia (by San Giovanni and dangerously close to the original San Crispino). I also went to Origini on Via Pie’ di Marmo. Both working hard to fill the need (?) for classy gourmet gelato, both surprisingly good (especially something called “concetta” i think at RivaReno, with almonds and cream.

  12. […] Someone’s Grom gelato review […]

  13. […] a gourmet gelato chain, opened in Rome’s San Giovanni district last year. Along with Grom, which opened in Rome this June, it is part of a pointless trend in Italian food culture, a soulless national franchise that uses […]

  14. Chris King August 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Coming to this post late – as following it from the other new gelataria link:

    Always find Grom a good reference point when moving around the north of the country. Yes there are far better locally run places with more soul and links to the community, but when travelling and often rushing from one tourist spot to the next, it is often far easier relying on a trusted standard.

    Even if the venues may lack an identifiable characteristic that elevates it from good to great, you can still be sure that the gelato will at least be good in taste and consistency.

  15. […] these days. Chalk it up to declining local tastes, which are content with the soulless sterility of Grom and the unrelenting mediocrity of Giolitti. A dairy-inspired email exchange with my friend Arlene […]

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