Paciugo is a gelato chain that was founded in Dallas, TX in 2000 and now has over 40 locations throughout the US. SCOOP! Blog figured we would go right to the source, to one of the first shops they opened in Dallas, to give you the scoop on this gelateria that is taking the nation by storm. Paciugo bills itself as "Your Authentic Italian Ice Cream Experience". This contradictory phrase, which promises authenticity but skips out on the Italian word for the Gelato it serves, neatly summarizes the chain. Paciugo tries extremely hard to persuade the customer of the authentic Italian experience he or she is experiencing while simultaneously depriving the customer of that experience at every opportunity. Paciugo is the Starbucks of the Gelato world.
Paciugo can be found hiding in suburban strip malls, or airports, like La Guardia
That does not mean that Paciugo serves bad Gelato, just as Starbucks serves a passable cup of Joe if you are in a hurry. But Paciugo is not a destination for those seeking gelato nirvana. One thing that Paciugo gets "right" is the traditional flavors. If Paciugo kept its line-up simple, sticking to natural flavors, we would likely have given it a 7. However, with the introduction of poorly designed flavors such as Bubble Gum and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, one can't help but fume at the missed opportunity to provide quality gelato to a wider American audience.
Flavor Tasting Notes
Peppermint Twist and Bubble Gum - I guess they forgot to create a Hawaiian Punch flavor
We are starting off our notes with the best flavor. This is easily the best flavor we sampled - tastes just like a rich lemon butter cookie. Creamy mouthfeel with good, smooth texture.
Paciugo's pistachio flavor is surprisingly good, with authentic pistachio flavor. This gelato has a great, layered texture that begins smooth, with a subtle finish of pistachio bits.
This flavor was utterly gross and artificial. It melted immediately in the mouth, with almost no mouthfeel or noticeable texture.
Mint Chocolate Chip
Great texture, similar to the Lemon Custard. The mint flavor appears to come from a peppermint extract, so don't expect to be blown away by its subtlety. There was only a small smattering of tiny chocolate nuggets.
This rendition of Salted Caramel is a world away from Bi-Rite Creamery's renowned take. Bland vanilla flavor, lightly salted with caramel streaks. Overwhelming roasted caramel dominates the flavor profile and did not pair well at all with the other flavors in this scoop.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Very bland, with sparingly few chunks of cookie dough (maybe 1.5 total in the entire scoop). Epic miss for this place. Would not recommend at all.
Paciugo Gelato2301 Preston Road Plano, TX (Several Locations in DFW Area)