Freddo scoops out Argentine treats

Freddo photos by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.
Freddo photos by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.

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.

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.

Hello, helado!

Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.