Foodies Enrico Pavoncelli and Sam Newman will stop at nothing in their quest for the perfect gelato.
The pair travelled around Sicily and Calabria to learn the secrets of making top-quality gelato from the Italian masters.
Three years on from a small unit in Broadway Market they run Hackney Gelato – producing more than 90 litres a day and supplying around 30 local shops and restaurants.
We came across them at our son’s summer fair – their Salted Caramel gelato was the best gelato we’d ever tasted; then we visited their factory and sampled Cherry and Almond gelato and we were hooked. It tastes even better knowing it was made locally and knowing how passionate Enrico and Sam are about the quality of their product.
“I’m often asked what the difference is between gelato and ice-cream”, said Sam, who grew up in Italy. “Gelato has less fat – fat coats the tongue and masks the taste; with gelato, you can really taste the flavours – and gelato is whipped in a different way. Most commercial ice-cream is 50 per cent air, our gelatos have just 20% air so they’re denser.
“Our mission is to bring the best traditional Italian gelato to the heart of London, where it has been sorely lacking for too long.
“We work with both English and Italian flavours, but our methods are strictly traditional. We hand-make everything (no ready-made powders) and use only the best prime ingredients: milk and cream from grass fed British cows, artisanal ingredients from Italy and whole or freshly squeezed fruit (no purees).”
It has been a case of trial and error for the foodie entrepreneurs, who first met when they worked at the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli. They’ve been painstakingly working out which sugars achieve the right softness with each flavour and which flavour combinations work well.
Their unique flavours include Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline, Bakewell Tart, Bourbon Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Almond and Lemon, Yoghurt and Honey and they also produce a
selection of vegan sorbets including Alphonso mango, coconut and lime and dark Belgium chocolate.
A small selection are available to buy from a few stockists in half litre tubs and in smaller tasting tubs.
Among the shops and restaurants serving Hackney Gelato are Harvest in Stoke Newington, Som Saa Thai in Commercial Street, Il Cudega Italian deli, Village Organic in Victoria Park, the Smoking Goat in Soho and The Royal Albert Hall restaurant.
To find out more visit www.hackneygelato.com
*Pictures courtesy of Hackney Gelato.