I seem to have fingers in various pies of late, doing pretty varied jobs for a range of food based businesses. One of my favourites in the last couple of years has been the Gelato Festival, held in Old Spitalfields Market and part of a Europe-wide tour, where participants compete to win the championship.
I learned a lot working on this event for a couple of years, partly how there are lots of people hailing from Italy that are mad as a box of frogs, but mainly about the difference between ice cream, and PROPER Italian gelato.
Proper gelato is smooth, it’s heavy and creamy, although in fact it’s made with more milk that cream, unlike ice cream. It’s also churned much more slowly, meaning there’s less air mixed it, accounting for the denser texture.
Prime Gelato at the Tottenham Court Road end of Shaftesbury Avenue serves such gelato, and very much deserves a visit if you’re in the area. Owner Mirko makes everything by hand in store (with some very expensive kit), and his repertoire includes a whole separate freezer full of vegan options. I’m a fair-weather vegan, but still, it’s really good to see how much the options are expanding, even over the last few months. And these were delicious,
The salted caramel gelato was heaven, so so creamy, and the vegan dark chocolate was rich and chocolately, and I probably wouldn’t have known it was vegan. Mirko makes proper pistachio (ships them over from Sicily) and the flavour is so much better than ‘normal’ pistachio ice cream.
They also serve waffles and various other bits, and is the ideal dessert bar or post-theatre or mid-shopping treat.
More info here.