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There’s something different about Gelataio, Palo Alto’s newest gelato shop and the first retailer to open at brand-new development Lytton Gateway.Buy Gelato Online In California, Order Moon rock Online In California, purchase ice cream gelato online in California

It might be the two faucets behind the counter, reminiscent of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” out of which pour continual silky flows of milk and dark chocolate (in which employees dip wafer cookies, a traditional gelato accompaniment). Go see it for yourself if you don’t believe this reporter.

It might be the visibly creamy rows of gelato — from hazelnut and chocolate to saffron and kumquat — that are made from scratch with all organic, as-local-as-possible ingredients in an open kitchen just feet away from the glass case the gelato is served from.

But above all, it might be the sheer passion and commitment of a first-time food operator with no experience in the industry, but who loves gelato so much that she traveled to Europe multiple times to do her own hands-on research; attended immersion gelato programs in Italy;

Installed a test lab in her own kitchen to try out different combinations and methodologies; and spent a year and a half searching for a suitable space to open up shop in Palo Alto, finally doing so this month at 121 Lytton Ave.

Christianne Mares, who originally hails from , says she’s always been passionate about (read: indulged in) ice cream, but was mostly used to the American version until she spent a decade living and working in Germany, where gelato is more common.

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“It was so good, so creamy and so different than what I knew,” she said.Buy Gelato Online In California, Order Moon rock Online In California, purchase ice cream gelato online in California

Fast forward to some years later, after she moved to Palo Alto and met her husband, Jorge Borbolla. The couple had three children and she eventually decided to take a break from her career in the tech industry.

An indulgent family trip to Italy in summer 2012 solidified her passion for gelato and inspired her to bring what she learned and observed there back to Palo Alto.

That summer, the family “went from gelateria to gelateria” throughout Italy, visiting Florence, Lucca, Bologna, Naples, Amalfi and Sardinia. It was at first for pleasure but soon became more serious, the couple said.

“We noticed there’s better and not so good (gelato), even in Italy,” Borbolla said, “and we very quickly started seeking out where we went.”Buy Gelato Online In California, Order Moon rock Online In California, purchase ice cream gelato online in California

What made the most critical difference, they said, was making the gelato fresh every single day, on site. Other techniques, such as how much fat to add (Gelataio recipes have 8 percent) or how much air to let in (the amount of air is what distinguishes gelato from ice cream, with gelato being churned at a much slower pace so as to incorporate less air than ice cream), Mares learned in two two-week immersion programs at Gelato University.

The school, founded in 2003 by major gelato-machine manufacturer Carpigiani, offers crash courses on everything from best practices for making gelato to the science behind the Italian-style ice cream to how to develop a business plan for a successful gelato shop.Buy Gelato Online In California, Order Moon rock Online In California, purchase ice cream gelato online in California

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