Coronado Is A Gelato Lovers Haven - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Home And Business

Coronado Is A Gelato Lovers Haven

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 4:15 pm

May is National Artisan Gelato month. Sounds fancy huh? Isn’t gelato just a fancy way to say ice cream? As a matter of fact, no. Gelato is part of the word congelato, the Italian word for frozen. Simply put, the ingredients that are frozen are simply not the same as ice cream.

What is the difference between ice cream and gelato? The terms gelato and ice cream cannot be used interchangeably in the United States because technically the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines ice cream as a frozen product that contains no less than 10 percent butterfat. Gelato typically is much lower in butterfat, coming in closer to 4-8 percent. That is because most gelato artisans use milk and not cream.

That milk, along with fresh fruits, pastes, or other products are then churned at a low speed to minimize the amount of air in the mix as it is cooled, making the final product denser and creamier in texture compared to ice cream.

Gelato is typically made daily in small batches and consumed within days. It is served at warmer temperatures than ice cream to preserve the soft and velvety texture. That warmer temperature and lower fat content along with the consistency of gelato brings out the flavor intensity, so a little goes a long way.

So, what makes it artisanal? Classifying something as artisanal indicates that it is a work of art. This implies both an artist behind the process and the process itself. The techniques and the recipes are usually a gelateria’s closest kept secrets. It is the combination of these that makes each gelato shop unique. Coronado is fortunate enough to have two artisanal gelato shops offering tempting, flavorful servings of this tasty treat, each offering something different.

Nado Gelato by Bottega Italiana began in Seattle’s Pike Place Market by native Italians Luca Guerrieri, Antonella Ragazzi and David Arato in 2003. David since expanded to San Diego with locations in La Jolla, Encinitas and Coronado. The Coronado location opened in 2006. Remodeled a year ago, Nado Gelato introduced new paneling and a new layout. The shop blends Craftsman-style with an industrial feel that ties seamlessly into Coronado history, which you’ll see through photographs along the walls. The design is based on gelato shops in Italy, where they typically have a bar, standing room and outdoor seating.

“This is exactly what the setup is like if you go to Italy. Our company training was in Italy and it definitely brings back Italian traditions,” said Alexandria Florez, Nado Gelato’s store manager.

Each batch is made in small quantities on-site and uses local, in season produce using techniques learned from Italy. Their artisans train for over a year learning the art of gelato. They make it a point to avoid corn syrups, artificial colors and preservatives to deliver the best natural flavors. Every bite is sure to pack punch of flavor. There are typically 20 flavors available daily including seasonal options, sugar-free options, standard flavors like chocolate, strawberry, stracciatella (chocolate chip), and the more unusual flavors where creative liberties are taken such as black vanilla which contains activated charcoal, matcha green tea and raspberry rose which was available during the Flower Show. You can enjoy your gelato in a cup, cone or have the best of both with a house-made waffle bowl. Nado Gelato also serves up delicious coffee from Caffe Calabria served Italian-style with a ceramic cup with demitasse spoon and topped with froth art. You’ll have the real feel of an Italian caffe in an inviting and welcoming environment. If you can’t make it in however, you may be fortunate enough to find the Nado Gelato at local Whole Foods locations, restaurants and dessert shops in the region or you can order a pint to be delivered by High Tide.

Gelato Paradiso started in Orange County in 1999. With locations in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and San Diego it made its way to Coronado in 2017 and continues to expand with a future fifth location set to open this fall in Austin, Texas. Gelato Paradiso is committed to using fresh ingredients and produce picked in season. There are usually a standard 25 flavors available, plus five or so seasonal or new flavors to choose from. Eighty-five percent of their ingredients are imported from Italy.

“Gelato recipes are very similar; it is a certain percentage of fat and sugar and a specific chemistry, but what differentiates us from other places and them from us is what we put into it, the flavor profile. For example we use three different pastes for coffee gelato,” said Petra Cornelius, Gelato Paradiso store manager.

They also serve sorbet. Sorbettos are dairy free, all natural, and are all mostly fruit based with the exception of the chocolate. Some flavors vary by area, serving more of what is popular in that area. They also feature a flavor of the month, May’s Flavor of the Month being Horchata. Seasonally they tend to go sorbet heavy in summer. Both gelato and sorbets are hand-made on-site as well as their waffle cones, which are made fresh and hand-rolled. Each location has their own artisan making the product fresh daily, but the only two shops with a window to the artisan are Coronado and Laguna Beach. In Coronado’s shop you are likely to see Henry, a culinary school graduate, hard at work on the freshest gelato. The Coronado location is a flagship store with a brighter look, light beach feel and repurposed barn wood.

Also available on the menu here are gelato shakes with or without LaVazza espresso, affogatos (gelato drenched in espresso) and artisanal cakes. They also do catering for special events, to-go pints and wholesale with hotel restaurants such as Loews and the Marine Room in La Jolla in which their gelato is trucked to these locations.

“It’s a whole process, but it’s super fun” says Cornelius about wholesale orders. “We make specific flavors for certain restaurants that we get to serve at our shops such as saffron pistachio.” Gelato Paradiso is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

With two delicious options for authentic gelato in Coronado, be sure to indulge this month and see what National Artisan Gelato is all about. No stop at either one is sure to be the same with so many flavor options to choose from.

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