Cremolose, an Italian cafe, recently opened in downtown San Diego. It offers 48 flavors of gelato, over 40 cakes made in-house, a full lunch and dinner menu, and a full bar.

I was invited to the grand opening party and was impressed enough with the bites I sampled to want to come back again to try some more items.

Cremolose occupies 5000 square feet of space and can seat 260 customers. The spacious digs are perfect for a gathering, or a place to get dessert and drinks with friends.

My initial interest in the cafe was for the gelato. And I was quite happy with the gelato I sampled. The classic Italian gelato were creamy, thick, and offered in 24 different flavors. The flavors included popular ones and more unique ones I haven’t seen elsewhere like fig, chocolate cake layers, to name a few.

Here’s a shot of FH’s chocolate from the opening party. Still trying to work out camera pics with my new phone. I tried a hazelnut one.

In addition to offering 24 regular gelato flavors, Cremolose also offers 24 flavors of the Italian imported cremolose, a new type of gelato that is fresh-fruit based. While most of the selection were fruit offerings, there were also a few nut ones like pistachio and hazelnut.

The cremolose gelato isn’t as thick as the dairy based Italian gelato we’re used to, but this healthier gelato was equally tasty. I actually preferred the cremolose version of pistachio because of the intense flavor of the pistachio and pieces of pistachio contained in every bite.

I had this idea for peanut butter and jelly cookies a while back. My original vision was a thumbprint cookie with a peanut butter cookie base and a jelly filling. After I made flourless peanut butter cookies, I thought it would make a nice peanut butter cookie base.

To make them even better, I decided to use chocolate peanut butter. I originally bought the spread from Amazon, but I’ve since seen it at several grocery stores. I usually only like peanut butter in small doses, so adding the dark chocolate to it makes the spread more appealing to me.

Jiufen (Taiwan)

Usually when we visit Taiwan, we stay in the main city of Taipei. On this last trip though, we took some time to visit other parts of Taiwan, including the city of Jiufen.

Jiufen is a popular tourist attraction that also serves as the backdrop for the movie Spirited Away. It’s a small town in northern Taiwan, that used to be a gold mining town. “Jiu” means “nine” in chinese, and it is said that there were originally only nine families living in the town, hence the name. When gold was discovered, the small little village became very popular and filled with families.

The village is located in the mountain, and the drive there was quite precarious. While my mom and brothers slept through most of it, my sister and I were too nervous to fall asleep as our driver guided us up the narrow paths. Once there, we saw many tourist buses. After I got out and saw this breathtaking view though, I immediately understood why so many people come up here.

Jiufen Old Street is the most popular tourist attraction for the village. It’s a road that runs through most of the village and is full of shops. Because it’s such a big tourist attraction, every vendor offers samples and tried to draw customers to their store. It was sort of like Costco multiplied by a hundred.

One of the foods Jiufen is most known for is taro balls, which is one of my favorite foods. They are chewy balls, similar to mochi, though it is made of potato flour and taro. It’s usually offered with other types of flavors like green tea and yams, creating an array of pretty colored balls. It’s usually served as a topping for shaved ice, in red bean soup, or sometimes in hot beverages.