For the last few months, Giapo has run a weekly tasting club on Thursday afternoons, inviting their blog subscribers to try new and experimental flavours of gelato and sorbet. I haven’t been along to a tasting club event as it’s during my work day, but there’s usually some left afterwards for evening visitors to try.
Test flavours are often vegan, so it’s worth checking out Giapo’s blog to find out his plans for the week, as well as lots of background on nutritional aspects and food chemistry behind each creation.
Tasting club flavours I’ve tried are:
1. Bacio – a flavour whose name means kiss, because chocolate and hazelnut are such a perfectly sexy match. Bacio is a well known Italian gelato flavour, but Google knows of noone but Giapo who has tried making it into a sorbet. This dairy-free version is similar to Giapo’s ever-wonderful cocoa sorbet, but creamier, nuttier, with a slight crunch. Since featuring as a tasting club flavour, bacio sorbet has made regular appearances on the menu, and it’s one of my favourites.
2. Pistachio – another nut that’s commonly found in gelato, but less often in sorbet. This was lovely, though halfway through a whole cup of it, I thought it might be improved by a little salt. We mentioned this to Gianpaolo, who disappeared into the back room and reappeared with a pinch. I was right: to my tastebuds, the flavours were sharper when slightly salted.
3. Sea weed salad – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but thought this flavour might be more savoury. I was wrong – it was based on lemon sorbet, with a sprinkled seaweed topping. I only had a small taste of this, and liked it, but didn’t really get a good sense of the seaweed flavour over the lemon.
Other noteworthy sorbet flavours recently include feijoa, orange (especially lovely paired with cocoa sorbet) & guava. Giapo often sources fruit from backyard growers in trade for product, so a lot of the sorbet flavours originate in customers’ gardens. If you have a tree that grows more fruit than you can eat, take some in to Giapo and be part of the delicious experiments.