Argentine tourists can’t help but stop in their tracks when they see Freddo, a new ice cream shop on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach that brings a beloved form of gelato called helado to our shores in a season when many places are freezing.
Bring on the mascarpone with raspberry purée, almond nougat semifreddo and mint chocolate chip, perfect at an outdoor table or in a to-go container (packed with dry ice). But it is best as a hand-dipped cucurucho, swirled and flipped to make a pointy peak of dairy goodness packed into a waffle cone.
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With 150 shops in South America, from Chile to Uruguay, this is Freddo’s first foray into South Florida, according to franchise owner Jimena Duran and her co-partner and sister-in-law, Gabriela Gamarra.
The company was founded in Buenos Aries in 1969, and the helado is still made the same way: from hormone-free milk and cream of grass-fed cows, with a smooth, rich, custardy flavor and texture. It is churned in small batches and shipped by boat. There are also lower-calorie light ice creams such as orange-peach, plus fruit sorbet like green apple, strawberry and pineapple.
Scooper James Buddin (pictured) learned the dip-and-flip technique from master heladero Omar Romero, who developed and tests every batch for consistency. The passion fruit sorbet was tropical and creamy, and the milk-chocolate cone was rich and dense.
Other favorites are the banana split with caramel and chocolate chips; vanilla with berries; and grand dulce de leche with almonds, pecans, golden raisins and swirls of caramel.
And then there is the ice cream panini: a soft, round roll smeared with peanut butter and jelly stuffed with a choice of ice cream, instantly pressed and dusted in powdered sugar so you have cold, warm and sweet all in one bite, perfect for any weather.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.