Gelato has had its day – now it’s all about the soft serve!
The dessert trend has moved on from its gelato days and now we have the almighty soft serve. Exotic flavours from all around the world have come to Australia in colourful swirls. Within the cone, you’ll find a delicious ride through the world of taste.
The soft serve had always been overlooked. Selecting the usual vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream to fill my cone had become habit.
But what is the difference between the two? Well, the soft-serve is better, duh!
The soft-serve has a lighter taste than the gelato, with a lower portion of egg and cream and because it’s light and richer in texture, it’s a lot smoother on the tongue.
I’m not bashing gelato… but the soft serve is so much better. So I dedicated four days to trying out new flavours, mainly the exotic kind. Sorry chocolate lovers, but this one’s not for you.
Aqua S, George St, Sydney
With aqua-coloured walls to match the sea-salt ice cream, Aqua S is more than just your average ice cream bar.
The creators travelled the world in their efforts to create unique flavours. They flew to Japan, and now we have Sea Salt; an ice cream that tastes just like its name. We can’t be more thankful.
The flavour was strong, unique, and changed the way I looked at ice cream. There was a swirl of blue on top of the crunchy cone, with fairy floss forming a ring around the cone that reminded me of Saturn.
Sea Salt was strong, and held its mark on your taste buds, but add a little Cafe Latte and you have a completely new flavour. The swirl of the two ice creams mean you’re able to taste them alone, or together. The sweet popcorn topping amplifies the taste.
Gelato Messina, Surry Hills
A menu filled with 35 original recipes, and five new recipes each week (one each day), will throw you into a rebound. You’ll never want to eat ice cream anywhere else. Exotic flavours like poached figs in marsala (an Italian cooking wine), and panna cotta with fig jam and Amaretti biscuit, give you a feel for Italy.
They do have flavours like chocolate and vanilla, but that’s not what I was there to eat. Dulce De Leche is an Argentinian caramel made by slowly heating condensed milk until it becomes sweet jam. It doesn’t taste like ordinary caramel. The sweetness melts in your mouth, begging you to eat more. No toppings required this time.
Okay, chocolate fans, I had to try just one. And I wasn’t disappointed. The chocolate fondant made a mockery of every chocolate ice cream I’d ever had. The texture isn’t thick, but smooth on your tongue. After one bite, you’ll be convinced.
Butter, Surry Hills
Butter is not your average ice cream shop. It’s not even really an ice cream shop; it’s a restaurant that sells ice cream. It was hard to stay away from all the food, but it was worth it when my order came to the table.
The salted caramel soft serve is a flavour that will never be forgotten.
The way their sweet and savoury blends together will throw you into the deep end. Normally, I preferred to keep my sweet and savoury separate, thinking they didn’t mesh well.
Boy, was I wrong! The salt overpowered the caramel, but not in a bad way. Throw it into a cone and you have the perfect mix.
La Mamma Del Gelato, Central Park Mall
La Mamma Del Gelato’s name may throw you off, but with over 150 flavours to choose from and four different categories (Cream, Sorbet, Vegan, and Yoghurt), it shouldn’t.
Founded in 2002, Mamma Anita has created hand-made ice creams for 14 years. Of the five flavours I tried, two stood out.
The first was Rum and Raisin. It had a bitter taste but not an unpleasant one. Raisin alone isn’t tasty, but add a little rum and it changes the flavour completely. Don’t have too much, though, otherwise the drive home won’t be fun.
Out of the five, it was peanut butter and chocolate that truly won me over. The delicate mix creates a swirl of chocolate and peanut butter. The flavours weren’t too different from the classics, but La Mamma Del Gelato made them so much better – definitely the mother of ice cream.
Move over, gelato – soft serve is here to stay! – Story and photo by Rosaline Khiami