Exploring the Flex Meal Plan- Gelato Flavors at the Elm

ice cream

In my previous blog post, I mentioned being on the Flex meal plan at Yale. Even though I originally switched my meal plan simply because I was not making the most of the 21 meal swipes offered through the Full meal plan, I now have another reason to obsess over the Flex meal plan- the gelato at the Elm.

The Elm is an all-day café in The Underground (basically the basement) of the Schwarzman Center. Besides coffee and tea, The Elm also offers local pastries, tasty sandwiches, and best of all, specialty gelatos. (Fun fact: New Haven is called the Elm City because of the many elm trees that line its streets)

Since I did not try any of the gelatos offered at The Elm last year, this year, I was determined to try all the gelatos and sorbets. Fortunately, with the Flex meal plan, I can use dining points to purchase and fuel my dessert consumption. Along with the traditional ice-cream flavors such as vanilla and dark chocolate, The Elm also has gelato flavors such as Cucumber (my favorite), Olive Oil, and Brown Butter. Since I have both sampled and bought almost all the gelato and sorbet flavors offered at The Elm, below are some standouts and (many) pictures of my friends enjoying their treats at The Elm.

The first gelato flavor I want to highlight is cucumber. Although it may be an acquired taste, it is by far my favorite flavor because of its perfect balance of decadence and refreshingness. Like the rest of the gelatos/sorbets in The Elm, the cucumber gelato is also very creamy and, according to my friend, “tastes like a Lays cucumber flavored chip.”

cucumber gelato
cucumber gelato is the most underrated flavor

Another two flavors at The Elm that I must highlight are the olive oil and brown butter gelatos. While both flavors have savory notes, the brown butter gelato has a hint of toffee, whereas the olive oil gelato tastes nearly identical to olive oil. Overall, both flavors are very indulgent and a must-try at The Elm.

olive oil gelatobrown butter
olive oil and brown butter gelato!

Besides these unique gelato flavors, The Elm also has traditional and less controversial gelatos. These include matcha, hazelnut, pistachio, expresso chip, dark chocolate, and coconut. Although I can’t choose a favorite from these gelato flavors, I enjoy having a wide variety of options, and these flavors are perfect for those who do not want to venture out.

Lastly, The Elm also has a large selection of sorbet, perfect for those who prefer fruity flavors or cannot consume dairy. Even without the added dairy, the sorbet is always very creamy and has little to no ice crystals. To date, the sorbet flavors offered at The Elm are cantaloupe, lemon basil, orange hibiscus, mango, passion fruit, and apple (my favorite is the cantaloupe sorbet). Unsurprisingly, like the gelatos, the flavors of these sorbets are spot on.

my fellow sorbet-loving friends

Regardless of your meal plan and the number of dining points you have, I highly recommend trying the gelato and sorbet at The Elm. If you don’t know what flavor to get, don’t be afraid to ask for samples. And, if you are feeling like treating yourself even more, don’t forget to order your gelato/sorbet with a freshly made waffle cone and top it off with melted chocolate!

chocolate toppingchocolate topping
everything is better with chocolate :)