I first experienced the taste of La Gelatiera’s gelato at Kings Cross Ice Cream Festival, where I indulged in a scoop of Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Chocolate Sorbet. Not only did it leave me feeling totally satisfied, but with a craving to find out what exactly makes the gelato from La Gelatiera this good. On my quest to find out more, one of the owners Stephane kindly invited me along to independent Covent Garden parlour located along New Row.
On my arrival one Sunday afternoon, I took a seat on one of the bar stools located around the shop and took up the offer of a drink. As I was enjoying my espresso, Stephane brought over a plate of three tablespoon scoops of gelato. As I had previously specified my interest in unusual flavours, I was presented with a scoop of Stilton Caramel & Walnuts, Salted Caramel and Honey & Rosemary. The gelato was just as I had expected, incredibly flavoursome and utterly unique. Unlike the others I’ve tried you could really taste the salt, meaning the gelato actually tasted of salted caramel as opposed to just caramel. The popularity of this flavour has flourished in recent months and it was interesting to hear from Stephane (who’s from France) how whilst this flavour is novel in the UK, its popularity is long established across Europe.
Next up was Stilton Caramel & Walnut. Now, the idea of cheese in ice cream may only appeal the open minded but I can honestly say, it works! Chunky pieces of stilton and walnut were hidden throughout the creamy caramel gelato to create an unusually delicious taste. For those who are a little sceptical about mixing sweet and savoury flavours, I urge you to give it a go. I finished with a scoop of Honey and Rosemary. Personally, I don’t enjoy floral tasting food but the sweetness of the honey really made it stand out. Like all of La Gelatiera’s flavours, it was different and that was enough to leave my taste buds in a frenzy.Great tasting food is as much about the ingredients as the production. The majority of the ingredients used by La Gelatiera are locally sourced, such as their Stilton and Ewe cheese come from Androuet at Old Spitalfields Market. There are however, some of the 100% natural ingredients which are best sourced from the finest regions in the world. The Hazelnuts are specially flown over from Piedmont, northern Italy and the Pistachios from Bronte in Sicily, both renowned for it’s high quality nuts. The cocoa, coffee beans and vanilla come from further afield, namely Guatemala, Madagascar and Ecuador. La Gelatiera only use suppliers who are part of the Slow Food group, which not only ensures the highest quality but also sustainability. Founded in Italy, Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members worldwide which links the pleasures of food with a commitment to community and environment.The craftsmanship of Italian gelatiere Antonio is second to none. Antonio showed me his lab underneath the parlour and explained how he makes the gelato. Following a traditional Italian method, the gelato is made using neither preservatives or non-natural thickeners. Instead it is made fresh every day to prevent thickening and to ensure the best possible quality. What I really love about La Gelatiera is the forever changing flavours on offer at the parlour. In addition to the long-standing best-sellers, Stephane and the team work day and night to create new and interesting flavours. In the lab, Stephane and Antonio showed me the Pomelo, a popular Asian citrus, which they had soaked earlier that day in preparation to test their latest idea. Their creation was a success and the following day Pomelo Sorbet took centre stage. I can’t wait to see what flavours La Gelatiera will come up with for Christmas. Last year they worked with a chef from Milan to create a deliciously festive Pantone gelato. This week they have a Halloween special ‘Black Sesame’.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to La Gelatiera, not only because I got the chance to taste some delicious out-of-this-world flavours, but because I was welcomed by the whole team who taught me so much about their passion. It’s official, La Gelatiera have over-taken Oddono’s to become my favourite London gelato. There are three things which made this parlour special; the quality ingredients, the Italian craftsman ship and the true love that goes into each and every scoop.
Living life, loving cake,