30/08/2005 - 22:00

Traditional touch to gelato

30/08/2005 - 22:00

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The hottest ice cream experience available at the moment is found at Fremantle’s The Gelato Company. But it’s not ice cream, it’s Italian gelato, traditional style; and there is a world of difference.

Traditional touch to gelato

The  hottest ice cream experience available at the moment is found at Fremantle’s The Gelato Company. But it’s not ice cream, it’s Italian gelato, traditional style; and there is a world of difference.

Owner/proprietor Michael Della Penna knew from a trip to Italy that the traditional method of gelato making would be a success in Australia.

Working for five months in friend Stefano Del Dosso’s gelatoria, Mr Della Penna admits to sampling the wares four to five times a day.

Mr Del Dosso, who has adopted the title ‘gelato technician’, has 25 years’ experience crafting gelato, a product at the heart of Italian cuisine.

Now, Mr Della Penna has brought his gelato technician to Perth to create the boutique gelato style for Western Australians.

“True gelato is an art form,” Mr Della Penna says. “We don’t have a kitchen, we have a ‘gelato lab’ here.

“The secret is that you have to have the passion. There is a gelato school in Italy; we [in Australia] don’t have any idea how seriously the Italians take it.”

The point of difference between the ubiquitous ice cream is that gelato has to be made fresh every day, a product made by artisans that can never be replicated on a commercial manufacturing scale.

Although he lets his product speak for itself, Mr Della Penna is uniquely passionate about explaining how his business has replicated its traditions in Italy.

“The most important thing is that the production and selling point must be in the same location. They have to be, otherwise that means the gelato is made somewhere else and it is not authentic,” he says.

It takes on average six hours to produce a typical product range The Gelato Company has been offering for the three weeks it has been trading. While some ingredients are imported from Italy, Mr Del Dosso says the gelato he is producing here is even better than that in Italy due to its Australian ingredients.

Mr Della Penna says the local fruits available to Mr Del Dosso, and even milk from WA, are better than that available in Italy, which produces a richer, finer product.

And Perth’s gelato-loving community, supported strongly by Fremantle’s rich ethnic culture, have given the business a warm reception.

“The feedback we have been getting has been absolutely great,” Mr Della Penna says. “During our first week, we ran out of milk; we even ran out of fruit.

“Everyone who comes in, I see them again the next day or later on. The people’s reactions have been great”.

The mango gelato is proving wildly popular even at the height of Perth’s most unfriendly gelato weather.

And given that only 100 per cent fruit is used, some of the 60 or so gelato the business produces is seasonal.  But word is that, when summer hits and watermelons and rockmelons become available, new favourites could be found among staff and customers.

Seeing Mr Del Dosso at work on his ‘gelato operating table’ it is obvious that, after 25 years, he still finds a unique passion about crafting his frozen art

In an odd kind of way it is comforting to know that the man behind all of The Gelato Company’s products speaks almost no English.

“Amore,” he says while talking about his work in a language, like the gelato, we can all understand.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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