Gelato shops are everywhere in Italy. You will find them at almost every corner of the street and all the creamy and luscious gelatos of various flavours are all displayed at the counter. It is tempting not to buy a scoop of gelato for yourself especially during the summer where the sweltering heat can really put you off. And on our island where the sunshine has almost never left at once, we are a nation of ice-creams lovers. We love our llao llao yoghurt and Korean Bing su. But little did we know that there’s actually a really good gelato shop here in town, right under a HDB flat at Macpherson.
You’ll never guess that Alfero Gelato actually serves unique local gelatos like durian and cendol. They also serve a couple of sorbets like mango and mandarin orange. And there’s always a reason to keep coming back as they are always coming up with new flavours of gelato. How about salted egg gelato?
The man behind Alfero Gelato (who’s godfather loves it!) is Marco Alfero who is trained and certified by the Gelato University of Carpigiani in Italy. Wait, you mean that there’s actually a gelato university in Italy? No wonder it’s a land of gelatos. These Italians are serious about making gelatos.
The main Alfero Gelato outlet is in Macpherson while the other retail outlet is at Marina Square. I think I’ve walked passed the outlet at Marina Square a couple of times but I didn’t know how authentic their gelatos tasted till I’ve tried it a couple of days ago at their outlet in Macpherson.
Luckily, they also offer other sweet treats to go along with their gelatos. You can opt to pair the gelato with a warm homemade brownie or waffles. If you don’t fancy a cup of gelato, what about some smoothies or coffee?
The waffles are made fresh right on the spot and served to you while it is still hot! These ladies were swift in preparing our orders and our avocado smoothie came right up.
The only time which I’ve tasted an avocado shake which is this good was in Vietnam and since then, I’ve never tasted anything quite like this before. It isn’t just creamy or milky but it’s full of that avocado flavour. Their avocado smoothie is also as good as their avocado gelato.
We ordered a waffle with 3 scoops of gelatos – pistachio, peanut caramel and hazelnut chocolate.
The Art of Making Gelato
To me, the only difference between gelato and ice cream, in terms of taste, is that gelato has a more intense flavour than ice creams. However, in the art of making gelato, the ingredients used in gelato is way different than the ingredients used in making ice cream. To make gelato, fresh milk, whipping cream and egg yolks are used. And 30 % of the air is incorporated into the gelato which explains why the texture if more dense. However, for ice cream, powdered milk, additives and colouring agents are often used. And 100% of the air is incorporated into ice creams. In addition to that, ice cream contains a higher percentage of fat than gelato too. So intuitively-speaking, which would you choose? Gelato or ice cream? It does make a lot of sense as to why gelatos are more expensive than ice creams too.
And since gelato can only be stored up to 5 days in the freezer, you can’t really buy them at supermarkets. It’s best that you get it from a gelato shop like Alfero Gelato that makes fresh gelato almost every day.
At Alfero, they use free-range milk and real fruits to make their gelato. This explains why their popular flavours like pistachio have this rich nutty flavour as it is made from Bronte Pistachios which are sourced from Italy.
To preserve the texture and smoothness of the gelato, they store them in the pozzetto cabinet where it prevents the exposure to air and light which would otherwise affect the quality of the gelato. Good stuff is meant to be hidden until you find them.
I guess this type of storage method also keeps the gelato colder too.
Alfero Gelato is just 10 minutes walk from Tai Seng MRT station and if you want to taste some REAL fresh gelato, head over to Alfero and you might also chance upon Marco Alfero who could be in this gelato lab, making some serious gelato.