Three Italian buddies opened Gelato-Go on South Beach last month, making their own base daily with fresh ingredients and selling it in cones, cups and takeout tubs. Their dairy flavors use low-fat milk with cream and nut butters, while their sorbetto is made with seasonal fruit.
Gelati maker Antonio Armino is from Caserta near Naples and learned the skill from his father. His childhood friend Domenico D’Addio manages the finances, and high school pal Alessandro Alvino does the marketing.
Frozen treats have a long history in Italy. The ancient Romans ate snow mixed with honey and wine, and in the 16th century, the Medici family commissioned artist Bernardo Buontalenti to prepare something special for the visiting king of Spain. He concocted a smooth, icy dessert he called gelato, meaning, “frozen.”
Gelato has less fat and air than ice cream as it is churned at a lower speed after the base is pasteurized. This makes for a denser, more intensely flavored product that is scooped into the display pans with a spatula to create creamy waves.
Rotating flavors here include Nutella, pistachio, hazelnut, Italian cookies, cannoli, coconut, vanilla, black cherry, stracciatella (milk and dark chocolate), coffee, melon, strawberry and pineapple.
Specialties include vanilla “spaghetti” with strawberry sauce, fior di latte gelato with a halved peach that looks like a sunny-side-up egg and a hot croissant sandwiched with two scoops of gelato. If you have a dream flavor in mind, they will make it for you.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.