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Ever caught yourself substituting breakfast, lunch or dinner with a crunchy gelato cone, with deliciousness melting on top of it in the form of juicy and creamy scoops, carefully picked from a color palette a makeup artist would envy? Congratulations, you are a gelato addict, just as I am. We have tried them all a couple of (dozen) times and have some safe favorites, but let’s be honest, don’t we all just wish to rewind to that first childlike feeling of diving into the mystery of a new flavor? What if I told you it’s still possible?
Get your spoons ready, because here we have collected the most particular and rare ice creams of Milan, invented by both just-opened and legendary producers, all belonging to a rare breed of people to whom gelato is an art, a science and beyond, to whom adding chemicals is a crime, and pairing flavors in a cup is like choosing an aged wine for a fancy dinner. They crush commercial rules with their talent and passion, and tirelessly reinvent all aspects of artisanal gelato-making, giving life to genius creations that, like modern art, are only for the savvy to comprehend.
In case you were wondering, there is no need to be Audrey Hepburn on a scooter to feel the spirit of the Roman holiday. Instead, its ancient greatness is hiding in the corner of Milan, recalling ice cream tastes just the way they were back in the days. Every ingredient here deserves an iconic status, a result of the most careful selection and with no trace of disgraceful dyes and preservatives! All of the flavours unmistakeably hint at their creator, a 26-year old Stefano, who, like a Roman god, mixes and matches them in his laboratory. Try Sacher (an Austrian chocolate cake) enriched with 88% fresh apricot Piemonte confiture, Ginger, and Black fig, and you’ll be left in awe of their greatness…
VANILLA GELATI ITALIANI | VIA PATTARI 2 – PIAZZA XXIV MAGGIO 4
Carried by the flow of the crowd mid-Duomo square, we are indecisive about choosing a spot, afraid of falling into yet another tourist trap. Yet, an exception to this rule and possibly your upcoming best gelato experience to date, dreamily named Vanilla, is waiting for you right around the corner. You will get lost in a rich rainbow of colors to play with, but there is more to them than meets the eye: bite after bite, rare ingredients from all over the world are revealed, and just as much know-how. So what are you waiting for? Dive into the pop art of passion fruit American cheesecakes, soften it up with almond pesto and caramelised figs, order a cocktail of rum and juicy orange, and take amino acids to heal your body with pure goji berries! The only thing you will be regretting is… not having a bigger stomach!
LA BOTTEGA DEL GELATO | VIA PERGOLESI 3 – GAMBERO ROSSO 2017
There are only two kinds of people in the world: die-hard chocolate ice cream lovers and the fruit flavour obsessed. For the latter, Bottega del Gelato can become a new home. This historic gelateria, family-run since the 60s, which out of principle serves ice-cream only in cups and offers travel packaging (so even your grandma in London will have some with her 5 o’clock tea!), is a sorbet wonderland. Besides 20 regular fruit flavors (we paired white peach and avocado, and it’s heaven), its all-time unique specialty is a selection of exotic fruits emptied and filled with matching sorbets. And when we say exotic, we mean you had no idea they existed in nature: Chirimoja, Kiwano, Pitahaja. Sounds strangely addictive, and chances are, chocolate lovers may be reevaluating their life goals right now! An Alkikinger sorbet, anyone?
ENRICO RIZZI MILANO | VIA CESARE CORRENTI 5 – VIA DELL’UNIONE 6 – VIA TORTONA 19
Enrico Rizzi is a patissier – how posh Parisian does that sound? – but looking at his masterpieces a childish creative spirit shines through. You step into his chic boutique and artisanal laboratory in Via Correnti 5, and while paving your way through rows of macarons and praline, startled, you notice the old Italian gelato. But Enrico made it his own, blending orient and occident together in his poetically named Aomori (a combo of matcha and black sesame), Sinfonia Rosé (orange flowers, rose petals and candied ginger), and Sinfonia d’Oriente (lychees, raspberry and rose essential oil). Already in awe? Wait till you hear that he has just taken the game to a whole new level, introducing sparkling gelato, available all summer in all his boutiques!
GELATERIA PAGANELLI | VIA GUSTAVO FARA 14 – GAMERO ROSSO 2017 – VIVIMILANO AWARDS – FOOD & DRINK 2017
Lovers of sitting in a good enoteca with a glass of wine might be upset that it is now too warm for this winter activity. Don’t you worry! Gelateria Paganelli has been taking care of summertime wine lovers since 1930. Mr Paganelli’s passion for the profession created such flavors as Canada (a yogurt base with maple syrup sprinkled with sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds) or Crema del Madagascar (Bourgon vanilla with pink pepper berries), but the centerpiece here is not one, but a selection of wine sorbets, available two at a time and changing every week. You will find all your usual favorites: Cabernet, Moro d’ Alba, Moscato Giallo dell’Alto Adige and, of course, Franciacorta – blended and frozen in the best Italian tradition. As Romans would put it, in vino veritas!
GELATERIA ARTIGIANALE | PORTA GENOVA
How many times have we tried sticking to a healthy diet with fruits and salads, but at the end of that same day surrendered to a cup of tasty gelato, feeling extremely guilty about it? Sure, it was your cheat day (yeah, right), but from now on your mind will be truly at peace. You are in the hands of Brasilian gelato makers, opened 15 years ago in Porta Genova, who every day select the juiciest and ripest mangoes for their ice cream, picking only the best of the 50 kinds available in their home country, and it’s just the beginning. With flavors such as Goiaba (rich in vitamin C and a great antioxidant), acai berries (considered a superfood, rich in flavonoids and essential fatty acids) Cajà (a source of mineral salts), super delicious Graviola and many others, you can organically mix gelato into your diet, turning it from a guilty pleasure into a fitness supplement! Oh, almost forgot to mention: more than 50% of their offering is vegan and gluten free, with three flavors with rice in place of sugar, for the absolute healthiest! Indulge yourself, now you have no excuses!
MI SCIOLGO | VIA BENEDETTO VARCHI 4
Mi Sciolgo (‘I am melting’) is the destination for die-hard lovers of chocolates, nuts and creamy velvety textures. With 1000 shades of color from white to dark brown and everything in between, this tasty and oh-so-seductive chocolate heaven will make your heart melt with love. Try their specialties: Castelvetrano (goat ricotta, honey, tangled tangerine and fig), the irresistible taste of Sicily – the cannolo siciliano – and finally, pear, saffron and chocolate – that has just been introduced! As they put it: you have to try to believe!
GELATERIA ETNICA | VIALE MONZA 33
Despite its peculiar appearance and positioning, Gelateria Etnica is a rare find, especially for those who got seriously bored with their serious lives filled with serious gelato flavors. Here healthy options, such as aloe vera, goji berries and ube (Philippino potatoes of vivid violet color) coexist with KitKat and Matcha Green Tea, Nutella and trashy McDonald’s style cheese – Queso Real, which all sounds quite exotic and, well, ethnic. So make a random combo and go for it – eating their ice cream, you will feel like a child playing with a new box of crayons: it’s colorful and fun.
GELATERIA ELLEBORO | VIA ALESSANDRO MANZONI 42, MONZA
Gelateria Elleboro is a budding talent in the gelato universe, opened in the centre of Monza just a few weeks ago, and it’s promising to say the least. Providing heartwarming service and exceptional quality innovative flavors, such as caramel and salty butter and white chocolate with almond and pistachio, they have not stopped there and added an out-of-the-box twist to the ensemble, serving their gelato in black cones! The whole arrangement is yummy, sophisticated and somewhat American-style. Do you get where I am going with this? Put your iPhones to work, because if those cones aren’t instagrammable, we don’t know what is!
BONUS FOR THE CONNOISSEURS | GELATERIA DA BEPI | VIA MADONNA DELLA SALUTE 85 – PADOVA
What a lousy article on weird flavors would it be if it were predictable! We thought we could do better and will guide you well beyond our comfort zone, i.e. Milano. Here comes the legend (yes, I just said it) of Italian gelato making, the one and only Gelateria da Bepi. The Bepi brothers, Jacopo and Nicolò, who rigorously continue the mestiere of their grandpa started in 1937, have zero pretentiousness (your ice cream will be served in a plastic glass), are tireless advocates of family tradition and think that there is nothing better in this world than a pure seasonal ingredient. In addition, they do possess a generous dose of crazy, which to me is a sure sign of true genius. Name anything edible or drinkable that comes to mind, and chances are that they have made a gelato out of it at some point in the past; to give you a sneak peak, here is a tiny fraction: basil (and other vegetable gelatos since 1970s), Amaro Braulio, basmati rice (!) and … wait for it… gorgonzola! If you are in Veneto this summer, make sure to take your chances and find out what new their experiments have resulted in this week! Chances are, you might consider moving houses altogether.
Let us know if you’ve enjoyed our selection! We sincerely hope that these new flavors will help take down the wall of misunderstanding between die-hard chocolate gelato lovers and the fruit flavor obsessed, having a vital role in maintaining the world’s peace.