The world in a waffle-cone

Phoebe Tilelli gets the scoop the event that put Enmore’s Cow and Moon on the world map. Summer Hill’s Gelatony gives the Gelato World Tour 2015 their best shot.

The Gelato World Tour is like something that dreams are made of. If there’s one way to put a smile on anyone’s face it’s with a big scoop of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. However, this is not your average ice cream. The gelato scooped out here is in a league of its own and is an entirely different product. People walk around a pavilion filled with crazy gelato flavours trying to choose between crunchy nuts, sticky caramel or sweet mango sorbet. These aren’t just your everyday flavours. They are some of the best in the world, and the taste alone speaks for itself.

Enmore gelataria Cow and the Moon took the crown at last years Gelato World Tour finals winning the title of Worlds Best Gelato. The tour started again on the 20th of March 2015 in Singapore for the Asia Pacific round where gelataria ‘Gelatony’ from Summer Hill, was represented by owner Antonino Lo Iacono. At this second edition of the competition, Singapore showcased the best 16 contestants with three being from Australia. 48 flavours represented Adelaide and Yamba Icecreamery from New South Wales also participated. Lo Iacono did the Inner West proud receiving a Special Mention award. From his first gelato bar in a tiny town of Italy, to the big city of Sydney and now having competed in a worldwide event, he has come a long way in the gelato making industry. “After making gelato for 30 years it is so fantastic just to be here and be recognised,” said Lo Iacono.

Gelatony has been in the shopfront of DaVinci’s restaurant and pizzeria in Summer Hill for two years. Before that Lo Iacono ran Gelataria Café 2000 in Rozelle for ten years.

“We had a really good time in Rozelle people loved us, they welcomed us and it was a real community experience. When we decided to relocate we wanted to find a similar environment. Summerhill is full of families with kids as well as professionals. There is still a community feeling there, which is what I love. The people of Summerhill were very welcoming to us and the community is supporting us in the competition. The best thing is that our regular customers from Rozelle have actually followed us to Summerhill so we have a lot of support from them as well,” said Lo Iacono.

At the competition in Singapore, points for each gelato flavour were calculated by combining public votes with scores that were made by a panel of judges. The judges were both media personnel and a technical jury of prominent chefs who scored based on flavour, structure and appearance. Although Gelatony didn’t place in the top three, the Special Mention was awarded by the head of the technical jury Justin Quek, Chef of Sky on 57 one of the most prestigious restaurants in Singapore. Gelatony’s flavour was Lemon Zest with Fig Marmalade and Dark Chocolate. The award takes into consideration not only the overall taste of the gelato but also the temperature, seeing that it is not too hard or too soft. The inventiveness of the flavour, the technique shown and a balance between ingredients is also important.

Lo Iacono and his family are proud of the award and rightly so. Lo Iacono explained: “My Father first taught me to make gelato in Sicily because I am originally from Italy. Now I have also taught my daughter and wife to make gelato so it really runs in the family. They are both with me at the competition because the family is always there for support. That’s what Italians do, we stick with each other when we need to.”

With a total of 16 flavours on offer at Gelatony, the Fig, Dark Chocolate and Lemon zest combination was chosen for the competition because Lo Iacono has a love for making homemade jams. This particular fig jam is made from a recipe that has been passed down from his Mamma. The sweetness of the jam combined with the sourness of the lemon zest and rich dark chocolate is what won over the highly regarded chefs. These artisan gelati are so special because everything is made from scratch to create a fresh product made with real ingredients.

The Gelato World Tour is run by the masters from Carpigiani Gelato University and SIGEP, the international exhibition for confectionary products, and is the first ever-traveling competition to showcase artisanal gelato products around the world. The top three competitors from each round of the competition are invited to the finals to compete for the grand title of Best Gelato in the World. Of course the finals take place in the hometown of gelato, Rimini, Italy. One team of finalists to watch out for in Italy will be second place winners from the Singapore round 48 Flavours gelataria from Adelaide. Their scoop of Walnut and Honey Crunch gelato got them into second place.

John Crowl, owner of Cow and the Moon in Enmore, said that the effect of winning last year’s competition were instantaneous. They were announced as the winner in the late evening in Italian time meaning that of course it was early morning in Sydney. A line began to form outside the shop and John’s wife Wendy had to take on a constantly buzzing phone line. Before they knew it there were television cameras waiting at the door and a whirlwind of customers ever since.

“The win wasn’t expected, there were so many great flavours at the finals. The only hint was that I had bird droppings fall on my shoulder two mornings in a row during the competition. My son and I looked at each other and thought- that has got to be a lucky sign,” laughed Crowl.

There must be some truth to the Italian superstition because people still line up today for scoops of the winning flavour Mandorla Affogato.

Icecream v.s Gelato

People often wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato. You may be surprised how very different they are! Gelato is made fresh every day with natural ingredients meaning it has significantly less calories and sugar than ice cream. Typically, gelato contains half the fat of ice cream and is also high in proteins, calcium and vitamin B2, so a moment on the lips does not mean a lifetime on your hips.

Gelato is traditionally served at a much higher temperature. Where you might find ice cream rock hard when trying to scoop it from the container (often bending your kitchen spoons) gelato should be much softer. In the production of gelato less air is incorporated into the mixture so you will notice a more dense and creamy product when compared to the much airier and fluffier ice creams. This also means that when you purchase a cup of gelato you are getting more bang for your buck, with no air-bubbles bulking up your scoop!