Despite the fact Melbourne hasn’t had the warmest of Springs, on the weekend of the 25-27 October it played host to the Australian leg of the Gelato World Tour, which was held in Argyle Square in Carlton. The Gelato World Tour is being held in eight cities across five continents and pits sixteen gelato makers against one another for each leg of the competition. Each gelato maker presents one flavour and is judged by a panel of experts, as well as votes by the public, with the top three heading to the Grand Finale in Italy in 2014.
The Melbourne leg follows events in Rome and Valencia, with the competition heading next to Dubai, then to Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Austin and finally Berlin, before the Grand Finale in Rimni. The gelato makers came from all over Australia, with one representing New Zealand as well. In order to ensure the public can try as many flavours as possible before voting you purchased a ticket for $10 that allows you to try two full sized cups and 3 mini-cones, which is a pretty good deal for that price! B and I bought a ticket each so we were able to sample a large proportion of the flavours on offer which worked really well, although we were very full of gelato by the end of it!
Choosing which flavours to sample was a pretty tricky process! We eliminated the offering from N2 Gelato as it was the Kaya Toast flavour that I had eaten when we visited them not long ago, and we also eliminated the pistachio offerings from Gelato Amico and Cones Ice Cream Hawthorn, as neither of us are huge fans of pistachio. The white peach flavour from Pompei’s in NSW was for some reason unavailable which was a shame, but there was still plenty of choice!
I used my first cup option on the offering from Messina Gelato (NSW/VIC) which was the Cremino flavour – salted caramel gelato with house made gianduia fudge, fresh meringue and crushed amaretti. It was as amazing as it sounds and I was definitely off to a good start!
B used his first cup on Frangipani Gelato (NSW) and their Pavlova flavour – meringue based gelato with a passionfruit swirl mixed with meringue pieces. He’s a huge fan of passionfruit so this was always going to rank highly, and it was absolutely divine. Smooth and creamy with a generous amount of passionfruit and a great crunch from the meringue. Another excellent start!
I then went for some mini-cone action and tried out the Vulcano from Vulcano Gelato (VIC) which had layers of hazelnut and chocolate with chunks of both ingredients throughout, and Za-Za’s Revolution from Za-Za’s Italian Cucina (VIC) which was macadamia and hazelnut with pralines and nuts throughout. They were both delicious, but the Za-Za’s probably won out of those two by a nose.
B used first two mini-cones on the offering from 7 Apples Gelato (VIC) which was Banana with Dulce de Leche, and the Tiramisu flavour from Giapo (NZ). Both were really tasty, I really liked the fresh banana flavour in the 7 Apples Gelato, and the Tiramisu came with a delicious coffee custard on top, although the dusting of chocolate did end up all over us when we tried to eat it!
I used my last cup on the Cow and the Moon (NSW) gelato which was Mandorla Affogato flavoured – Madagascan vanilla bean gelato with roasted caramelised coffee almonds and a coffee caramel sauce. This was absolutely delicious, the gelato was smooth and creamy and the sauce was rich and generously folded through. The almonds were also really delicious, although as they were caramelised they tended to clump together and were a little tricky to eat at times, as you’d get a big piece at once! Nothing I couldn’t work through however!
I used my final mini-cone on the Mascarpone and Fig flavour from Il Gelato (WA) which was also super tasty – the balance of the sweet figs and the smooth ice cream worked really well, and it was a delicious way to end my gelato adventures.
B’s final mini-cone was the Dark Chocolate flavour from Caffe e Gelato Milany (QLD) which was rich and creamy. It was probably wise he didn’t go for a whole cup of this one, as it was possibly too overwhelming a flavour to eat too much of after we’d already had a lot of gelato, but it was delicious all the same.
For B’s final cup he went with the Mascarpone and Fig flavour that I had a mini-cone of, it was a nice and light way to end our gelato adventures (well, comparatively!)
So who did we give our votes to? Funnily enough we both went with our very first gelato! So Messina got the vote from me and Frangipani Gelato got B’s vote!
After all that gelato we had to roll ourselves home, and I didn’t food for quite some time! It was a great way to sample some of Australia’s best gelato makers and I shall be keeping an eye out for the final results – hopefully a local hero can bring the prize home!