Wellington's tastes turn to gelato

Last updated 14:00 10/01/2014
gelato
AMY JACKMAN/FAIRFAX
GELATO MASTER: Graham Joe from Gelissimo Gelato.

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Wellington is enjoying a love affair with smooth creamy gelato and succulent sorbets. Amy Jackman talks to Gelissimo owner Graham Joe about gelato in the summer.

Are you a bon bon roche gelato person? Or is it the traditional lemon sorbet that floats your boat?

No matter what flavour frozen treat you hanker for this summer you will probably be able to find it in Wellington.

Wellington has nearly a dozen gelato or ice-cream shops in the central city and many more cafes, dairies and restaurants have gelato as a side on the dessert menu.

Flavours range from lemon, berry, green apple, ginger beer and feijoa sorbet to panna cotta, pumpkin pie, tiramisu, espresso, Christmas pudding, pistachio and gorgonzola cheese gelato.

What is it that attracts us?

Gelissimo Gelato owner Graham Joe said gelato was more suited to summer than ice-cream.

"Ice-cream has a higher fat content and there is more air mixed into it," he said.

"Gelato is milk rather than cream based and is slowly churned to create a dense product. It's great for summer, because it doesn't melt as fast and holds it shape better.

"It also means that when you get it out of the freezer it should still be soft and scoopable. You don't have to let it sit on the bench to soften up like ice-cream.

"Also because it doesn't melt you can take it in your car to a dinner party with out it going all crystalised."

Mr Joe said Wellingtonians were simple creatures when it came to gelato, but the food was fun to experiment with.

"Traditionally Kiwis just scoop it up and eat it, but it's fun to play around with and it's easy to do most things at home.

"It's more workable and because it doesn't melt you can take a bit longer to create it.

"We often do gelato cakes and we are playing around with introducing gelato sandwiches."

Mr Joe said good summer flavours were chocolate, ginger beer, lemon lime and bitters, damson plum and mint chocolate chip.

Graham Joe's Simple Gelato Cake

Ingredients: Biscuit crumbs, melted butter, gelato of your choice, summer berries, spring-form cake tin. Method:

Method: Combine the melted butter and the biscuit crumbs and press into the base of the cake tin. Don't make it too thick, otherwise it will be difficult to cut through when frozen. Spoon in the gelato. To make a layered cake, freeze the gelato between flavours to slightly harden the top. You can also layer the gelato with berries and put berries, chocolate flakes or cinnamon on the top.

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Easy Gelato Sandwhiches

Ingredients: Two biscuits for each sandwich, gelato, grease-proof paper, large silicon muffin tray.

Method: Spoon the gelato into the muffin tray and freeze for an hour. Alternatively, flatten a ball of gelato into a disc with your hand or the base of a pan. Remove the discs and wrap in baking paper until you want to use them. Cut the biscuits to the same size as the gelato disc. Create a sandwich and enjoy.

- The Wellingtonian

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