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GELATO WORLD TOUR ANNOUNCES 16 FLAVORS COMPETING FOR TITLE IN AUSTIN
Austin (April 30, 2014) – Two weeks before its North America debut, the Gelato World Tour is pleased to announce the 16 elite gelato flavors to compete for the first ever North American Title May 9-11 at Republic Square in Austin, TX. The Gelato World Tour is a competition and celebration of the ART of FROZEN DESSERTS and has already visited Rome, Valencia, Melbourne and Dubai.
The top 16 gelato flabors in North America were selected by premier chef Damian Mandola and the most expert writer in artisan gelato, Luciana Polliotti. The gelato artisans’ names and their shop’s names and locations are as follows:
- Salted Pecan with Montmorency Tart Cherries & Tahitian Vanilla by James Coleridge and Salvatore Boccarossa of Bella Gelateria, Vancouver, Canada
- Raspberry Beet by Baron W. Von Gottsacker of Bend Spoon Gelato, Sheboygan, WI
- Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel by Jessica Oloroso of Black Dog Gelato, Chicago, IL
- Fior di Bronte – pure Sicilian Pistachio by Josh Collier of Cafe Dolce Gelato, Houston, TX
- Maple Brown Butter Pecan by Carmen Angelo Ricciardi of Carmen’s Gelato, Anchorage, AK
- La Grande Bellezza – The Great Beauty (Avacado Basil) by Silvia Bertolazzi of Carpe Diem! Gelato-Expresso Bar, Lafayette, LA
- Bananas Foster by Elizabeth McCleary of Devine Gelateria & Cafe, Sacramento, CA
- Chocolate Stout Beer with Carmel Crunch by Kimberly Zanni of Gelato di Babbo, Lititz, PA
- Sweet G’s Candied Bacon by Denise Kulisz & Gabriele Scarponi of Sweet Ginger’s Gelato, Fort Myers, FL
- Carmastachio by Stephen Hovis of Nucci’s Gelato, Franklin, TN
- Rich Chocolate, Dark Rum & Wild Cherry by Tammy Giuliani of Stella Luna Gelato Cafe, Ontario, Canada
- Texan Kulfi by Jasmine Chida of Sweet Cup Artisan Gelato & Expresso, Houston, TX
- Chocolate Orange Liqueur by Peter Miller of Tazzina di Gelato, Tucson, AZ
- Nuts by Matthew Lee of TEO, Austin, TX
- Turtle by Mary Stanley of The Turtle Gelateria, Brownwood, TX
- Profumi di Sicilia by Stefano Versace & Francisco Blanco of Versace Gelateria Italiana & Gourmet, Doral, FL
Houston food writer Amber Ambrose takes us to a little bit of Italy in Houston’s Galleria mall. Cafe Dolce Gelato evokes the food and gelato of Sicily. Shot, edited and produced by Geoff Roth.
*Courtesy of Geoff Roth productions Click Here if your browser does not support this video
So, here’s the thing about Cafe Dolce Gelato: It’s in The Galleria. Yes, it’s inconvenient to get to if you’re not already in The Galleria. Yes, it is a long walk from the parking garage. Yes, Galleria traffic is hellish at most times of most days. Yes, it’s not the best place for a little, family-owned gelato shop. But yes, the gelato here truly is some of the best you’ll ever eat.
Owner Josh Collier started the tiny gelato shop and deli sandwiched between Nordstrom and soup dumpling haven E Tao about two years ago. While the geographic location was not ideal as a destination gelato shop, it was the best available at the time. Formerly a Cold Stone Creamery franchise, the build-out needed to start the new gelato business was so inconsequential they couldn’t pass up the space.
Location inconveniences aside, Collier is making gelato the Italian way, even if it is in the middle of The Galleria. Every sorbetto (gelato made without dairy) and gelato is made with fresh produce, house-mixed chocolate or pistachios direct from an organic farm in Sicily, and you can honestly taste the difference.
The mildly green pistachio gelato is the best I have ever eaten. No fluorescent greens from food coloring or concentrates here. In fact, it’s almost a little unsettling at first. I’ve grown accustomed to bright sea-foam-green pistachio-flavored ice creams and gelati, so this dull shade of sage seemed a little lackluster. But the taste was just the opposite. It was exactly as it sounded: pure pistachios, only in frozen form, their essence enhanced by a smattering of sweet and creamy. Eye rollingly good.
Other flavor highlights were the seasonal mascarpone honey almond fig, in which all ingredients were balanced in just the right amounts to complement their fellow components and the roasted almond (I’ve got a thing for nuts, apparently), which was very pure tasting and satisfying.
To keep his business from going the way Cold Stone did before them, Collier also offers panini, deli sandwiches, salads, coffees and snacks for the workers and shoppers inside The Galleria. His latest panini features slices of chicken, a pesto made of pistachios, arugula, tomato and provolone. It’s simple and tasty and filled with pistachio flavor that marries nicely with everything else inside the pressed ciabatta.
One last product Collier insisted I try was something special he’d brought over from his most recent trip to Sicily – he goes once a year to research new flavors and products – a pistachio cream. Similar to Nutella, but with pure pistachios instead of hazelnuts and a cream instead of chocolate, this green, gooey spread is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth (other than the pistachio gelato). Spread between two halves of a croissant, it was gone in fewer bites than I’d like to admit.
With a menu pleasing to any gelato or pistachio fiend, Cafe Dolce Gelato is worth the torture of losing your car inside the bowels of The Galleria’s parking garage. But, lucky for you, Collier just procured a retail license and plans to start selling the store’s authentic, all-natural gelato inside grocers and restaurants throughout the city, so perhaps you won’t have to brave the traffic to get a taste after all.
Ambrose, Amber. “SIDEDISH” Houston’s Dining Magazine, MY TABLE. . 31 August 2012 <http://my-table.com/archives/sidedish/2012/08/>.